Boe, Makarainen win biathlon World Cup sprints
HOCHFILZEN, Austria (AP) — Norwegian biathlete Johannes Thingnes Boe dominated a men’s World Cup 10-kilometer sprint on Friday for his sixth career win, while Kaisa Makarainen of Finland took the women’s race.
Boe had the fastest time arriving at the prone shooting, hit all targets and remained ahead of the field for the rest of the race.
The Norwegian, who was third in the overall rankings last season, finished in 24 minutes, 34.9 seconds to beat Simon Schempp and Andreas Birnbacher. The two Germans, who also shot cleanly, trailed Boe by 14.3 and 17.9 seconds, respectively.
“It was a perfect race with good conditions on the track,” Boe said. “Last week was very bad for me so I was very focused and I wanted to be perfect today.”
Martin Fourcade of France, who won two races at the season-opening meet in Ostersund, Sweden, also avoided mistakes at the shooting range but came 27.8 behind in seventh. Olympic sprint champion Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway finished 40th after three missed targets.
Makarainen overcame the aftermath of an illness to win the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint for her second victory of the season. The defending overall champion won the pursuit in Ostersund last weekend and has been on the podium in all four races this season.
“I was pretty depressed yesterday as training was not so good,” Makarainen said. “My legs felt so bad on the last loop. I think by basic level is good enough so even if I feel tired and bad I can still go pretty fast.”
Makarainen missed one target before finishing in 20:55.6 to beat Karin Oberhofer of Italy, who shot cleanly, by 10.4 seconds. Oberhofer led after the final shooting but couldn’t match Makarainen’s pace on the track. The Italian earned her first career podium finish.
Tiril Eckhoff of Norway, who won the season-opening sprint a week ago, also missed once and came 29.9 seconds behind in third.
Three-time Olympic champion Darya Domracheva of Belarus had two penalties and finished eighth.
The relay events were scheduled for Saturday.