Helena Jonsson (SWE), the overall World Cup leader, skied to an impressive victory in the women’s 12.5km mass start biathlon competition today in Ruhpolding, Germany.
Thousands of fans packed the stadium to watch the top 30 women in the world battle on a challenging course. Jonsson was one of only two women to shoot clean on her way to a 23.1 second victory over Simone Hauswald (GER). Germany, skiing in front of a passionate home crowd, took places 2 through 5 and had 6 of the top 12.
“My tactic was to stay calm and shoot well today,” said Jonsson. “I shot clean and then all I had to do was to try to stay clear of Simone. I do not really know why I generally shoot so well, but I really hate going on the penalty loop.”
Magdalena Neuner (GER) took third, 12 seconds behind her teammate Hauswald, despite five penalties.
“I was not happy with the Relay, but started today as a new day. I tried to shoot with my own rhythm, but still had some problems today.”
Neunner posted the fastest ski time of the day.
Kocher Solid in 17th
Since only the top-30 skiers in the World Cup rankings start the mass start, Zina Kocher (CAN) was the only North American to start. Ranked 20th entering the race, she finished 17th with four penalties and the 12th fastest ski time.