Biathlon World Championships in Oberhof (Germany), women – 15 km endurance race, 15 February. Markéta Davidová from the Czech Republic.
Oberhof (Germany) – Markéta Davidová, while defending the title of world champion in the endurance race, took tenth place at the biathlon championship in Oberhof after three shooting errors. Sweden's Hanna Öberg won, who with one penalty minute left compatriot Linn Persson behind by 10.3 seconds. Bronze was won by the leading woman in this discipline in the World Cup, Lisa Vittozzi from Italy.
Photo gallery: Biathlon WC in Oberhof
“It was a bit of a fart race. The conditions were difficult and the three penalty minutes for Makula were not ideal. But if you have a bad day and still finish tenth, it's not so bad,” coach Egil told reporters Gjelland.
While two years ago in Pokljuka, Davidová shot flawlessly, this time she waited a long time for a clean shot. In the first three, she scored one penalty minute each, and only in the fourth did she hit all the targets. With starting number two, she then waited to see what it would be enough for. Other favorites were also missing, so she still remained in the top ten.
“Of course, I'm not satisfied with my performance. But I'm probably not in ideal running shape, and I think it's knocking me down a bit mentally in shooting as well. In short, there probably won't be any extra super results,” Davidová told journalists at the finish line.
Before the race, she had problems with her vocal cords. However, according to her, this did not affect her performance. “I don't feel that I should be sick. Of course, I don't enjoy it when it hurts to talk. So it's not ideal either,” she said, adding that she does not benefit from wearing masks or respirators. “I had it in Ridnaun, then it got better, and since yesterday it's even worse. It's hard to say. I'm doing everything to make it better. But nothing really helped,” added Davidová.
The second best Czech was surprisingly Tereza Vinklárková, who had two penalty minutes and ranked 34th. Eliška Václavíková and Lucie Charvátová also finished in the fourth ten. After the seventh place in the pursuit, Tereza Voborníková, on the other hand, did not do well, as she spoiled the race with three mistakes in the second item lying down. She had a total of five mistakes and finished forty-fifth.
“I think that on the first lie it was a shame of the last blow. After the second lie, of course, it was over the race. I'm sorry,” Voborníková recounted. “It certainly wasn't ideal on the track either. I rode alone most of the time today, so I couldn't ride with anyone for a long time,” she noted.
The victorious Öberg confirmed that she is strong in the endurance race at big events. After the Olympic gold medal in Pyeongchang 2018 and the world title in 2019, she triumphed for the third time in her career. She had silver from last year's Pokljuka.
“I can't believe it. I knew before the start that I was going to have a very difficult day and that I would suffer a lot. I had no idea how fast I was going. But even after that first mistake I felt good. Then I already performed well on the range. It's all the more special for me that exactly five years ago I won in the same discipline at the PyeongChang Games,” said Öberg on the International Biathlon Union's website.
“Endurance races at top championships are special to me . This discipline suits me. It's a long race, where you have to soak it up and keep your concentration on the shooting range the whole time,” she added.
As in the sprint, Sweden won two medals and Persson was again on the podium together with Öberg. She won silver in the lifetime championship after bronze in the opening individual race.
A missed last shot deprived Vittozzi of the gold. The Italian biathlete overcame health problems that prevented her from the pursuit race, and finished on the podium in the third endurance race of the season. She lost 28 seconds to Öberg. Thanks to a better run, she outpaced compatriot Samuela Comola by 20.5 seconds, who surprised her with a fourth place thanks to her accurate shooting.
On Thursday, the World Championships will continue with the mixed pairs race.
Women – endurance race (15 km): 1. H. Öbergová 43:36.1 (1 penalty minute), 2. Perssonová (both Swedes) -10.3 (0), 3. Vittozziová -28.0 (1), 4. Comolaová (both It.) -48.5 (0), 5. Simonová (Fr.) -1:21.7 (3), 6. Tomingasová (Est.) -2:23.3 (2), …10. Davidová -3:01.3 (3), 34. Vinklárková -5:11.7 (2), 37. Václavíková -5:39.2 (2), 39. Charvátová -5:42.5 (5), 45. Voborníková (all Czech Republic) -6:24.3 (5).