The IBU World Cup returned after the two week festive break and stopped at the DKB Ski Arena in Oberhof, central Germany. The ELEY sponsored French Team were hoping to continue their run of incredible achievements in 2016, but were expected to come under intense pressure from the German team.
As the competition progressed the unpredictable conditions typical for this venue introduced an element of surprise. Martin Fourcade fell victim to strong winds and heavy snow in the Men’s Sprint event, but rallied in the Pursuit to take his eighth win of the season. He came from 5th to take the lead as others struggled with the conditions. He was the first biathlete to the final standing stage with time in hand to read the wind, take careful aim, and win the Gold medal.
Warmer weather and fog replaced the wind and -9 degree temperatures for the Men’s Mass Start. Martin started strongly but dropped to 6th after a couple of penalties. He again came from behind to lead the field, but all changed in the final 100 metres. The Germans Simon Schempp and Erik Lesser overtook him in the final uphill section. It was a photo finish between Fourcade and Lesser, but the German biathlete just edged in front to take Silver. The ELEY shooting Schempp took the Gold and said: “It was amazing finishing first in front of the home crowd”.
The French Team’s achievements continued in the Women’s events: Marie Dorin Habert and Anais Chevalier came in 3rd and 4th in the Sprint. Marie said of the French Women’s recent success: “We have many young talented biathletes on the team, they are ambitious and motivated. They are faster each competition, and the shooting will come with time.”
Habert was motivated by Martin’s victory in the Men’s Pursuit to win the Women’s event. Consistent throughout, Marie stayed with the leaders until a miss from Koukalova gave her an opening. She took full advantage and by the final standing stage led to the finish.
The next IBU World Cup 5 takes place in the Bavarian Alps in Ruhpolding, Germany, and the ELEY team will be there to support our shooters at the mid-way point of the season.