Simone Hauswald of Germany gained a narrow victory over Helena Jonsson of Sweden in the Women’s 7.5K Sprint on a windy, snowy afternoon today in Oberhof. Both Hauswald and Jonsson had single penalties, but Hauswald crossed the finish line in 22:15.1, with Jonsson trailing by 8.7 seconds.
Nervous Jonsson in Second
Jonsson, wearing the combination Yellow/Red bib was quite happy to finish second. She said, “I was surprised to finish second. I was quite nervous before the start, because of all of the wind and the cold…and then Wolfgang (Pichler) told me that my shape was not so good. I was really nervous. But it was a really good race. . . I was not so lucky in the prone shooting as it was windy, but I was very lucky in standing (with less wind). So it evened out for me.”
Regarding the weather, she added, “It was a tough day; it was not nice out there. But we had some very cold weather in Sweden over the break also and trained in it. I could not sit around, as that is not Wolfgang’s style.”
Hauswald Ignored Weather
Hauswald said she was not bothered by the weather, or the talk of it. “I really did not worry about it. The Oberhof girls were saying if this tree is blowing such a way and so on. I said that it was the same conditions for everyone and just did not worry.”
The above is excerpted from the race report from the IBU’s Jerry Kokesh. Read the full race report here.
Johnson Represents America
Haley Johnson (USA) was the lone North American to compete. The Canadian team remained at home for an extra week of training in prepartion for the Olympics.
The rest of the US team competed in a time trial as part of the Olympic qualifying process. Johnson is the lone American woman to pre-qualify. She finished 61st in the 90 woman field. She had a total of four penalties – two each in standing and prone, and finished 3:36 out of first.
World Cup biathlon action continues tomorrow with the men’s 10km sprint competition. Jeremy Teela, Jay Hakkinen, and Tim Burke, all pre-qualified for the Olympics will race for the US.