World Cup. Pokljuka. Women’s Individual
Women’s individual was the second competition of the first day in Pokljuka. Olga Zaitseva finished 5th followed by teammates Svetlana Sleptsova, who ranked 10th, Yekaterina Yurlova who was 20th, Yana Romanova, Anna Bogaliy-Titovets and Natalia Guseva who were 28th, 51st and 61st respectively.
Anatoly Khovatntsev, team’s chief coach: “Despite the wind we had a chance to shot without errors. And all the errors were just annoying. The girls worked in the right rhythm and did the corrections to the wind. Svetlana Sleptsova made two mistakes at the first shooting and then managed to concentrate enough not to make any mistake any more. Olga Zaitseva’s error seems the result of a psychological pressure. It could bring her a medal and she knew about it. She missed the third shot. Anna Bogaliy did 4 mistakes, but they were in the same direction and they were minimal. At the same time I can’t but mention that both Zaitseva and Sleptsova were very impressive with their speed today. We decided that Yana Romanova will have a break and Olga Vilukhina can start in the sprint”.
Svetlana Sleptsova: “I’m quite pleased with my speed today, but there were also two moments to think over. I was confident at the start of the race, felt good and prepared well for the first shooting and I shot just in my own rhythm, still making two mistakes. I want to discuss it with the coaches this evening, you know. I think I lacked a piece of advice from them. Besides on the third lap I seriously lost my skiing rhythm. I followed Slovenian Gregorin although she was on her final lap already. So I also lacked forces on my own final lap. It was too hard”.
Olga Zaitseva: “My only miss doesn’t have much in common with psychological things. I felt confident on the track and the coaches advised me and I knew I could win a medal. I was ready for it and didn’t feel any pressure. I mean I really felt confident, but I made that error that prevented me from being on the podium. I think it was sort of a technical mistake. We are not in the form our fans expected us to be, but we have a result that is not bad and I think there’s no need to criticize everyone. I can’t say for other athletes, but I feel confident”.
Natalia Guseva: “I didn’t have a good race today, but I’m not in for panic. I wanted to do all my best and that feeling got in my way, I think. I wanted to have all here and now. And it seemed to me I was not nervous, but the facts disprove it after all. I was too fast on the first lap. I need to learn to restrain myself. The level of competition at the World Cup is far higher than at the IBU Cup. One has to fight for every second here, so the quality of shooting is most important here”.
Russian Biathlon Union Media Office