The 10 km sprint race for biathletes is coming to an end at the Rudné polje in Pokljuka. The best Slovenian hunter on skis, Jakov Fak, fulfilled his promise and fought for the top ten, which he missed by five seconds after a “solid performance”.
Johannes Thingnes Bø has more than justified his status as the first favorite and has reached his sixth win in the winter of 2022/23. The 29-year-old Norwegian added only one missed lay shot to the fastest run by far and outpaced his five-year-old brother by three quarters of a minute. With an advantage of 48 seconds, JBT also improved the record advantage of the World Cup sprint winner by two seconds.
Tarjei Bø otherwise, for his first podiums in the current season, he knocked down all ten targets and thereby outpaced the third Norwegian on the winning stage of the Pokljuka sprint, Sturl Holm Laegreid, by eight seconds, in the overall total of the first pursuer of the leader Bø.
JTB flew over Rudne polje
“Norwegians always have fast skis, but today I really flew around the track. If I rate the performance with a score of ten, it was a pure ten. A perfect day,” laughed Johannes Thingnes Bø, who thus reached his 99th World Cup podium. Jubilee hundredths are practically destined for him already in Saturday’s pursuit: “I have a really nice lead so I can go into the race calmly. I put together two sprints and that will be it,” is simply the winning recipe of the younger of the Bø brothers, who everyone calls by the abbreviations JBT and who celebrated his 61st victory in the World Cup this time.
Missed the first shot, but almost caught the ten
Jakov Fak started with a missed layup, but then covered all the remaining targets and ended up a minute and a half behind the big winner. He was only five seconds behind the much-desired top ten, which, according to the 35-year-old, he left in the last lap.
“Solid race. Not much difference from second place on, shame about that shot. It doesn’t start a good day if you miss the first shot. I rallied behind the others and shot well. I’m not too happy with the last lap either, because I felt too much my legs. Everything was already hurting, there was no real elasticity and bounce as I would have liked. I hope that on Saturday my legs will be easier and I will be able to squeeze even more out of myself on the track.” Jakov Fak said to TV Slovenija after the performance.
He was exactly two minutes behind the best biathlete of the winter Miha Dovžanwho also missed only once, which earned him 22nd place, or the best ranking in the current season.
Two other biathletes qualified for Saturday’s pursuit race of the best 60 biathletes Anton Vidmar and Alex Caesar. The first was 47th, and the second 57th. Without Saturday’s match, only Lovro Planko (79th) remained from the Slovenian five. The sixth Slovenian representative, Rok Tršan, will get his chance on Sunday in one of the relays.
Last year’s overall World Cup winner and Olympic champion from Beijing Quentin Fillon Maillet was “only” ninth, but still signs that the French can wake up and threaten the Norwegian biathlon supremacy.