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World Cup. Hochfilzen. Women's relay

Russian squad finished 4th in the first ladies’ relay of the season. Svetlana Sleptsova, Anna Bogaliy-Titovets, Yekaterina Yurlova and Olga Zaitseva ranked 4th after Germany, Ukraine and Norway leaving behind France. 

Yekaterina Yurlova: It’s hard for me to comment on this race, but I think the reason is obvious. That was my relay debut at the World Cup and I didn’t stand the psychological pressure. I slept well, I was well prepared, but I didn’t manage it I the right moment. I’d like to apologize for it to my teammates and the fans who expected a better result today. 

Anna Bogaliy-Titovets: I should say it was really hard at the end of the leg. I was almost faint. I’m more than confident that each of us has done her best today. We just needed some more luck and it would have been better. I’m asking our fans not to reproach us so much. It happened like this today, but the next time it would be better. I repeat that we always do our best and we can’t help when there’s no luck like this. 

Anatoly Khovantsev: The only thing I can say is that we had a good skiing today. Svetlana Sleptsova could have done without spare rounds; still, her performance was not bad. I don’t really understand yet, what has happened to Bogaliy, who was also good at skiing, but didn’t shoot very clear at the prone, her shots were biased upwards. We’ll think it over after the race. So, take away those 4 spare rounds and we’ll have 40 seconds less. Yekaterina Yurlova had her relay debut and was too much excited. I think it was aggravated by the first miss at the standing shooting. She made an error and started doing it not the way she usually works at the shooting range. Every athlete goes for a penalty loop in relay sooner or later, that’s just an experience. We’ll learn the lesson. Still, her skiing was very good. It’s hard to be at the podium with a penalty loop, but we had a chance but for Olga Zaitseva’s two mistakes. She would have been second, because her skiing condition was also very good. 

Despite a poor result, I wouldn’t say that there is a recession in our team’s results. We’re improving our skiing condition anyway. Sleptsova finally felt her speed today. On the other hand, Katya Yurlova might feel guilty, but we’ll try to calm her down.

Photo from the 2nd day in Hochfilzen available at biathlonrus.com, RBU's Facebook and Flickr pages

Russian Biathlon Union Media Office