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  #41  
Old 12-13-12, 00:30
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What's been the deal with Dasha's ski speed this weekend btw? She was even overtaken by Gregorin in the final lap. Did she have bad skiis? At one point it seemed like it, when Berger and Mäkäräinen took off in a descent and she didn't keep up.
The Belarusian women's coach said that Dasha chose the wrong skis for the conditions, as they just couldn't make them work. Dubarezava and Skardino were fine, but Dasha was struggling with her skis all weekend. She was a long way off the fastest skiers of the weekend (Mäkäräinen and Gößner). Then again, this time last year she wasn't killing everyone on the skis. She was one of the best, but it was as the season went on that she went from being sometimes the best sometimes just off to basically killing everyone except Neuner for ski speed.

The Norwegian men were incredible at the relay at the weekend, with a young and inexperienced team, going by with only 1 spare round. And that spare round was used by Bjørndalen, the only experienced hand on the team! Hilde Fenne was also excellent in the women's event, and Juliya Dzhyma was impressive also.

In Pokljuka, we get to see Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle in World Cup action for the first time. She's apparently been setting good ski times in the IBU Cup, but her shooting is nothing like what it needs to be - she missed 4 and 5 in the two sprints at Idre, then 6 in the individual and 3 in the sprint at Obertilliach. Also looking at the IBU Cup, how long until Ann Kristin Åfedt Flatland gets back in the World Cup? She's been winning everything so far. Also, where is Kathrin Lang (Hitzer)? She's been meant to return at some point.

Also, Simon Fourcade is back on his skis after surgery, and Tarjei Bø returns in the new year... along with his brother. Should be interesting to see how Johannes gets on, given how he's lit up the junior races and how well the Norwegian youngsters are adapting to the next level.
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  #42  
Old 12-14-12, 16:04
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Woah, how fast is Gössner. So close to winning with 2 misses!

The Norwegians were completely off the pace today, both Solemdal and Berger being beaten by over a minute in skiing time by Gössner. I guess they must have had quite horrible skis.
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  #43  
Old 12-14-12, 19:10
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Yea, presumably a ski issue as the whole team was down. You'd have got some good betting terms on Tiril Eckhoff being the best Norwegian and only one in the top 20, that's for sure.

Soukalová has been incredible this year. Never in the top 20 before this season, never in the top 35 last season, but this year, she's been in the top 15 every race this year, quietly accumulating some impressive results through consistently placing 10th-15th. She's only 23, and with a home Worlds this year and an Olympics next she could be a real major threat soon.

The Miriam Gößner of 2010-11 is very much back, and this is a very good thing for the spectacle of the racing.

The men's race was pretty crazy yesterday too - how about Fourcade only 3rd with clean shooting and being outskied by Svendsen despite Svendsen having a penalty, and also by Jean-Guillaume Beatrix? I presume he may have had a ski problem too, because that's very unlike him. A real jour sans for the German men, but nothing on poor Anton Shipulin, who had a day that could destroy his overall WC ambitions by excluding him from the pursuit and could really destroy his confidence.
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Last edited by Libertine Seguros; 12-14-12 at 19:14.
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  #44  
Old 12-15-12, 02:54
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Originally Posted by Libertine Seguros View Post
Yea, presumably a ski issue as the whole team was down.
I'm not sure the skis were the main issue, Berger seemed very tired last weekend as well. I'm guessing she will be back at competive speed after the christmas break.
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  #45  
Old 12-15-12, 12:21
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Good race by Svendsen today. He was considering retiring after some horrible shooting at the start of the season, but seems to be back now.

The improvement in skiing speed for the Czech is just downright ridiculous, Moravec made Fourcade look like a junior...
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  #46  
Old 12-15-12, 12:29
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Yes, I would never have banked on Moravec being able to do that even if Fourcade hasn't been at his best here. At least he's a known top level entity though - Soukalová only entered two events last year, and has now been top 15 at every race this season!

Men of the day have to be Andrejs Rastorgujevs (38th to 10th with 20/20), Andi Birnbacher (40th to 13th with 18/20) and Dmitry Malyshko (58th to 19th, didn't see his shooting record but presume it must be either 19 or 20).
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  #47  
Old 12-15-12, 15:23
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Oh my Gossner.
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  #48  
Old 12-15-12, 15:55
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When she learns to shoot, she will destroy the world. It's not often you start #1, shoot 20-20, and don't win. It isn't often you miss 5 and still win, regardless of what the format is.

No denying it was exciting too, feel like a more experienced hand than Soukalová might have been able to hang on, but she did look to be visibly tiring on the last two laps. Lap 4 lost it for her, I think, because she lost time on the skis more than any other (also losing time to Dorin), and then though she shot clear, it was slow which gave Miri only 10-15" to make up, rather than the 25" from before. Soukalová was actually surprisingly strong on lap 5, I thought she might have been a sitting duck but on the last climb she looked strong and comfortable staying with Gößner (who to be fair had been skiing at her limit for the whole race to make up the time lost in the first shoot), but had no chance on the downhill Pokljuka run in to the finish.

Soukalová, for her part, said she was tired from the sprint where she gave it absolutely everything in the hope of that top finish, and wasn't sure she'd be able to stay in the top 5, so she's excited enough by 2nd.
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Last edited by Libertine Seguros; 12-15-12 at 15:58.
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  #49  
Old 12-15-12, 16:43
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Skiing times from today:

1. Miriam Gössner
2. Kaisa Makarainen +44,1
3. Tora Berger +1:13,3
4. Andrea Henkel +1:17,6
5. Synnøve Solemdal +1:24,0
6. Olena Pidhrushna +1:31,8
7. Magdalena Gwizdon +1:33,3
8. Anais Bescond +1:37,4
9. Marie Dorin Habert +1:39,2
10. Gabriela Soukalova +1:42,4

Insanity...Mäkarainen isn't exactly slow either, so to beat her by 44 seconds is just out of this world. I'm sure Gössner could have challenged Bjørgen.
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  #50  
Old 12-15-12, 17:14
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Biathlon News reports that Gößner has become the 5th woman to win a pursuit despite a shooting record of 75% or lower. Uschi Disl (who did it twice), Galina Koukleva (who missed 6 en route to her win), Liv Grete Poirée and Katrin Apel. Most of these are on tough trails - Fort Kent, Oberhof - and Poirée's victory with 5 errors came, just like Gößner's, at Pokljuka.
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