Olympics 2018: Winter classic


Darya Domracheva. Photo: Reuters

Today at the Olympics will be an individual race at the biathlon, which again can bring us a lot of surprises.

Race with separate start, in which men run in 20, women – 15 km with four firing lines, many reasonably think the essence of biathlon. This is a real old – separate start, alternating prone and standing and no penalties.

Missed – plus a minute to time, so the price of each accurate shot is approximately two times higher than other species. To play three or four open target legs heavy even the fastest biathletes.

Here only what for some vintage, others old junk. “Progressive mankind” it is considered boring, long and therefore niteliginde. The schedule of the current world Cup, for example, individual race is found only twice – the first was opened the entire season in √∂stersund, the second was held in early January in Ruhpolding. And as in the Olympic years the world Cup is not held, then the current “independents” – the last until November.

As already mentioned, error-free performance at the shooting range in the individual race especially in price. And so here there are surprises, though it does not fit in with the way the most boring discipline. There are cases when minions smear one shot after another, and wins strong, but not stellar athlete. You may recall that the current world champion in this kind of program for men is now the American Lowell Bailey. In women, the classification of small world Cup is already won Nadezhda Skardino of Belarus, who celebrated the victory in östersund. On pedestals only last year raised the Frenchman Quentin Fillon-maillet, Czech Ondrej moravec, Italian Alexia Runggaldier, Ukrainka Yulia Jim and even Rosanna Crawford of Canada.

Given what happened in the early days of biathlon tournament in Pyeongchang, the importance of this factor can easily multiply by another two. In sprints, the number of participants, to shoot without a miss, could be counted on the fingers of one hand and in men and women. In such perutah was not all, but many do collect “jackpot”. For example, five or six times went to penalty laps Darya Domracheva, Johannes boe, Emil Hegle Svendsen, Kaisa Makarainen, Dorothea Wierer and many others.

The specifics of the shooting range in Pyeongchang lies in the fact that the stadium is almost always blowing gusting multidirectional wind in opposite ends. Not all of us can to put. Therefore, a considerable role plays the factor of chance. That is, under certain conditions the race can ever turn into a guessing on a camomile – lucky, not lucky.

But still we will try to highlight favorites. Let’s start with the women who will run first. Here is “iron” contestant number one, and it’s Laura dahlmeier. German is current world champion in this discipline, and also came to Korea in excellent shape. It is almost unique in the peloton, who managed to pass sprint and pursuit with no apparent breakdowns. The result – two gold medals of the Games, and it does not seem fantastic forecasts of German journalists, in the offseason pochivshim his prima five medals.

Competition it can be Makarainen, which can not remove the Olympic curse, Olga, Marie Dorin-habert – again, they still have to cope with shooting. Anastasia Kuzmina, who took silver here in the pursuit, in the two races had made seven misses, and therefore “prostitutes” her chances are much lower. And almost without a mistake to assume that at least one place on the podium takes an athlete that there is not much waiting.

In men, the main favorite of the two. First, it is Martin Fourcade – he unsuccessfully held the first race in Pyeongchang, but have rebounded in the second. The Frenchman was literally charged with energy, and success will allow him to maintain this attitude. And secondly, do not forget Johannes boe, although the Norwegian failed already two starts in a row. On his physical readiness no questions asked, but the shooting leaves a lot to be desired, like other members of the national team of Norway. Let’s not forget the champion of the planet Bailey, representative of Slovenia’s Jakov FAK, has already won gold here Arnd Peiffer.

Anton BABOSHIN, sport express

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