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Top-10 of Pokljuka

First victory of Shipulin, triumph of Virolainen, sensation of Innerhofer, comeback of Zaitseva and Ustyugov to the podium and misfortunate fourth places of Malyshko – summarizes results of the best World Cup for the Russian team.

Bingo of the stage – first personal victory of Russian athletes in the season

In Slovenia Anton Shipulin renewed personal best of the season. Ideal shooting in sprint led the Russian athlete to the second place, leaving him couple of seconds behind the leading Ferry. The Swedish athlete fought in pursuit until the last shooting, but perfect work of Shipulin allowed Anton to start celebrating already at the shooting range.

Celebrating finished at the finish in a favorite way of Shipulin – with the flag in hands. Russian athlete wins the race at the World Cup for the first time since January 2013. Pursuit became the core race of Shipulin – three victories out of five and seven podiums out of fourteen.  

Anton missed mass start, as it often happens to perfectly ready athletes — cool form catches an illness. Shipulin plans to get well by the World Cup in Finland.

Heroes of the stage – Bjoern Ferry and Kaisa Makarainen

Losing his main competitor of the stage in mass start Bjoern Ferry almost without any adventures took the second victory and his third podium in four days. Although he had no victories nor podium starting from March 2012. Great carrier of Ferry will be finished with the races in Kontiolahti and Holmekollen. We can assume that the nice farewell party has already happened.

Kaisa Makarainen is not planning to finish with biathlon, and there is no need – for the first time she will be fighting in yellow bib at her home arena. Slovenian stage improved profile of the Finnish athlete to 36 podiums and 6 victories. Fast as usual, but unusually accurate Kaisa did not get prize only after sprint.

Misfortune of the stage – two fourth places of Dmitry Malyshko

The racer from St.Petersbutg just like the whole team had the best stage of the season. However, two tendencies also proved here: Dima has not been on the podium for a long time (26 races in a row), however often placed fourth (three times in a season and twice in Pokljuka).

Discovery of the stage – Daria Virolainen

25–years old Daria Virolainen was preparing to start at the IBU Cup. However, the coaches of the main team decided to check her at the World Cup. Children of Anfisa Reztsova are supposed to debut in the following way: great speed, wise tactic and clean shooting as a bonus – second place in the first race. There was no other athlete with such a great debut in the Russian team.

Contact races put the athlete back to Earth, but there are still no doubts: Virolainen will remain in the main team at least until the end of the season.

Rise of the stage – Katharina Innerhofer and Dorothea Wierer

Post-Olympic stages are always reach for sensations. Except for Virolainen there were two other surprises.

Katharina Innerhofer had never finished even in top-20 before the last week. She won sprint and Austria got the first World Cup winner in its history. Dorothea Wierer was close to the prizes many times and finally got to the podium. This is the first personal podium of Italian women’s team from March 2009.

Figure of the stage – 26 prize winners in personal races among women

Great results of Virolainen, Innerhofer and Wierer helped to set a new record of the World Cup: 26 different racers visited podium of women's races this season. Russians, Norwegians and Ukrainians were there more often than the others – four athletes for every country.

Background of the stage – juniors

Final races of the Youth and Junior World Championships in Presque Isle happened at the same time with the first races of the World Cup in Pokljuka. Russian youth and junior athletes got 13 medals (4–3–6) and won total medal rating of the championships.

Comeback of the stage – Olga Zaitseva and Evgeny Ustyugov are back to the podium

The most experienced athletes of the team led mass start in similar styles: Ustyugov became one of the three athletes with clean shooting, Zaitseva – one of the two with one miss. They both did not have enough strengths for the last part of the distance: Ustyugov could not fight against Fourcade and Ferry, Zaitseva surrendered her second place to Makarainen.

They both finished the race in the top-3 for the second time in the season: Ustyugov was there in January, Zaitseva – in November.

Photo of the stage – fans in Slovenia

Citation of the stage – Anton Shipulin: “I want to be as close to the top-3 of the total as possible”

Even without mass start, Anton is still fighting for the top-3. Russian athletes finished season in the top-3 for the last time four years ago. Back then Ivan Tcherezov lost only to Svendsen and Sumann.

RBU Media Office