Biathlon World Championships – Men's 15km Mass Start, 19 February 2023, Oberhof, Germany. On the right, the winner of the race Sebastian Samuelsson from Sweden, on the left second Martin Ponsiluoma from Sweden.
Oberhof (Germany) – Tomáš Mikyska took fourteenth place in the final race at the Biathlon World Championships in Oberhof and equaled his lifetime best. Jakub Štvrtecký was twenty-second after six penalty laps, Michal Krčmář made one more mistake and finished in 27th position. Swede Sebastian Samuelsson won ahead of compatriot Martin Ponsiluma and Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Bö. Markéta Davidová said goodbye with fifth place and won the best Czech individual result at this year's championship.
Photo gallery: Biathlon WC in Oberhof
The 25-year-old Samuelsson did not have to take a single penalty lap and beat Ponsiluoma by 9.6 seconds. World Cup leader Bö paid the price for three shooting mistakes, losing 38.8 seconds to first place and missing out on a record sixth triumph in one World Cup. Nevertheless, he became the king of the championship with five gold, one silver and one bronze.
Mikyska made only one mistake on the range and fought for 12th place in the end. On the finish line, however, he was not enough for Nor Vetle's Sjaestad Christiansen and the German Justus Strelow.
“It was great, I just couldn't do much on the track anymore. I didn't feel like I did yesterday's relay. But I'm glad that the shooting kept me going, because it was difficult. Because of the wetness, my hands were frozen in the last two handstands and I didn't feel the trigger. But in the end I hit it,” Mikyska told Czech Television. “I evaluate the championship positively. Except for the sprint, all the races went beyond my expectations,” he added.
Mikyska and Štvrtecký made it to the race for the top thirty competitors for the first time in their careers. The last time the Czech men were three in a race with a mass start at the World Championships was six years ago in Hochfilzen.
The representatives entered the rainy race with a mistake on the opening item lying down. The 23-year-old native of Ústí nad Orlicí Mikyska was already 100 percent at the next three stops, while Štvrtecký and Krčmář did not record a single clear shot, and repeated the placing from Tuesday's endurance race.
The most experienced Czech competitor in the field, Krčmář, on the other hand, scored the weakest result in this championship. “Today I was already empty. I couldn't find much in myself on the track or on the shooting range. This race was a total blackout and I can't even be upset about it. It didn't work out and I'm going on,” Krčmář told Radiožurnál. “All in all, I'm leaving the championship satisfied. The medals are hanging very high. The Nordic countries are doing so well that it's impossible to get among them now. I showed quality races and results. Today is bitter, but I won't remember it tomorrow ,” recounted the Krčmář.
The main favorite Bö, despite two mistakes, remained in the lead before the last shooting, but missed the last target during the final stand and had to go for another penalty round. He returned to the track with a loss of 6.8 seconds to the leader Ponsiluom, but in the final lap he had no energy left to attack. With five gold medals at one World Cup, however, she shares the absolute record with German Laura Dahlmeier (2017) and compatriot Marte Olsbu Röiseland (2020).
Victorious Samuelsson won in Oberhof after three bronzes. He finished third in the pursuit, endurance race and relay. “It's fantastic. I didn't believe I could win the world championships this year. I've had a tough season, but this was an incredible championship for me. I'm happy with my performance today. I just focused on myself on the range to hit all the targets ,” said Samuelsson.
David got a bye in fifth place, the last title went to Hanna Öberg
David paid for two penalty rounds and lost 51.4 seconds to the winner Hanna Öberg of Sweden. The second Czech representative, Tereza Voborníková, was eighteenth after two shooting errors in the final “stand-up”.
The eighth woman in the World Cup, Davidová, improved her previous best in Oberhof, which was the sixth place in the sprint. However, the Czechs came out empty-handed at the championships. The last time they failed to get the precious metal was four years ago in Östersund.
Öberg won her second gold and fourth medal overall after the endurance race. She was also second in the sprint and third in the relay. In the final race, she succeeded even with two penalty rounds. The Norwegian Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold was second with a loss of 4.8 seconds, the bronze went to the French Julia Simonová, who made three mistakes. Davidová lost more than half a minute to the leading SP woman.
“I'm satisfied, of course I'm sorry for the injuries outside, especially the ones lying down. But today I enjoyed the race again. I had fun on the skis. It's not four zeros, but it was still a nice race,” Davidová told Czech Television.
Czech female biathletes entered the race with a flawless first event lying down. Twenty-two-year-old Voborníková, who ran a mass start race for the first time on her debut at the World Championships, was 100 percent in the other two events as well, but lost on the track. She was then denied a better place by two penalty rounds after the final shoot.
Davidova was slowed down by mistakes during the second shot lying down and on the opening “stand”, but thanks to the fifth fastest running time, she always returned to the top ten. Last year's world champion mastered the last item 100% and finished fifth. “A wonderful point. Markéta performed a great race. It's a shame for every mistake, because she was definitely on the medal today,” said sports director of the biathlon association Ondřej Rybář.
The most successful country at the championship was Norway with 13 medals, Johannes Thingnes Bö is signed under all five gold medals. The second Sweden won two less medals, the third France won four valuable metals, two of them gold.
The biathlon season will continue with the World Cup in Nové Město, Moravia. In the Highlands, the elite will present themselves from March 2 to 5.
Results of the Biathlon World Cup in Oberhof – races with a mass start:
Men (15 km): 1. Samuelsson 36:42.8 (0 tr. laps), 2. Ponsiluoma (both Swed.) -9.6 (2), 3. J.T. Bö -38.8 (3), 4. Laegreid (both Nor.) - 55.8 (2), 5. Rastorgujevs (Lat.) -1:07.3 (3), 6. Fillon Maillet (Fr.) -1:10.9 (2), ...14. Mikyska -1:46.2 (1), 22. Štvrtecký -2:57.9 (6), 27. Krčmář (all Czech Republic) -4:06.1 (7)
Women (12.5 km): 1. H. Öbergová (Sweden) 36:48.0 (2), 2. Tandrevoldová (Nor.) -4.8 (1), 3. Simonová (Fr.) -20.8 (3), 4. Chevalierová- Bouchetová (both Fr.) -34.7 (2), 5. Davidová (Czech Republic) -51.4 (2), 6. Knottenová (Nor.) -57.7 (1), …18. Voborníková (ČR) -1:43.0 (2).