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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Sep 25, 2009
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i just received an update regarding the reasons behind the complete collapse of of the russians yesterday...

first, it was the head of their waxmen (turns out he's the national federation's president - vyalbe - husband) who said that they tested and retested all skis up to 10 minutes before the start and there were zero problems and that the weather was remarkably stable throughout the race. so he was at a complete loss as to what happened.

then, finally, the head coach indicated that after the race they had waxed some skis again with the same formula as during the race and tested them some more. again no problems were found.

Only when they went on the formula beyond the 2-3 km, they noticed complete loss of glide. that, according to their version, pointed in the direction that the wax wore out and was applied too thin.

interestingly, the head coach noted, that northug was still faster than literally all russians in the first couple kms when their skis were still working.

iow, petter was unstoppable yesterday as can be supported by the cologna's 8th. this was what the russians said. i have no idea if this is true except the canadian babikov seemed to substantiate the theory...he said when he descended behind legkov, he had to give him a push few times and was outgliding him in the parallel tracks
 
Aug 9, 2012
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python said:
the only consolation for other nations is that norway can't take the entire podium today :)
Judging from Justynas classic performance, I't looks like there is little chance of that happening in the 30k.:D

Of course Johaug did not look at her best, and 5k is usually a bad distance for her, so one can't read that much into it. But Justyna really showed that she is in good form.

TomasC said:
Is Diggins somehow related to Thomas Voeckler? Her head moves quite similar to his tongue.
Sign of how much she can improve her technique. She is a hot prospect in more ways than one.:p




Anyway the Finnish coach Magnar Dahlen is probably kicking himself. He had Krista and Kaisa available and chose the wrong one. Well thats skiing. Sometimes people have bad days.

Finally Anna Haag had a good race! Before the season I was sure she was going to show big improvements this year, perhaps this success will keep going untill the end of the season. And the rest of the team performed very well. So Sweden won a silver today and proved the Swedish punters wrong.

The US had a weird race. The weakest link Sadie Bjornsen had a very good race. Kikkan Randall, the strongest link was totally out of it. Stephen continued her 10k performance and Diggins was good, not as good as at her best, but still pretty good.

Germany did not have a good day. But they have not been that good this championship. I don't know weather Gøssner tried to engage the turbo or not when it was her turn.

And how cool is Weng!:cool:



The combined today will be interesting. The jumping was totally out of wack due to too much speed in the latter stages of the jumping. So it's going to be very exciting.


Looks like Tarjei beat Fourcade in the sprint in Holmenkollen today. 0,1 Seconds ahead!

Emil is sick and is on penicilin, hopefully he will be back for Sochi.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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python said:
i just received an update regarding the reasons behind the complete collapse of of the russians yesterday...

first, it was the head of their waxmen (turns out he's the national federation's president - vyalbe - husband) who said that they tested and retested all skis up to 10 minutes before the start and there were zero problems and that the weather was remarkably stable throughout the race. so he was at a complete loss as to what happened.

then, finally, the head coach indicated that after the race they had waxed some skis again with the same formula as during the race and tested them some more. again no problems were found.

Only when they went on the formula beyond the 2-3 km, they noticed complete loss of glide. that, according to their version, pointed in the direction that the wax wore out and was applied too thin.

interestingly, the head coach noted, that northug was still faster than literally all russians in the first couple kms when their skis were still working.

iow, petter was unstoppable yesterday as can be supported by the cologna's 8th. this was what the russians said. i have no idea if this is true except the canadian babikov seemed to substantiate the theory...he said when he descended behind legkov, he had to give him a push few times and was outgliding him in the parallel tracks
Thanks for the update!
The politics of Russian skiing resembles the politics of the Russian Federation. Totally weird!

But their ski problems sounds about right. Also, their form has semed a bit off so far in the championship.

That Northug was far ahead was part of his tactic. Crush the others mentally on the first two rounds then hope he had enough to keep his lead. And it worked. Had the race been 500 meters longer, I think Johan would have taken it by a minute. Northug just looked totally finished at the finish.:D
 
ToreBear said:
Judging from Justynas classic performance, I't looks like there is little chance of that happening in the 30k.:D

Of course Johaug did not look at her best, and 5k is usually a bad distance for her, so one can't read that much into it. But Justyna really showed that she is in good form.



Sign of how much she can improve her technique. She is a hot prospect in more ways than one.:p




Anyway the Finnish coach Magnar Dahlen is probably kicking himself. He had Krista and Kaisa available and chose the wrong one. Well thats skiing. Sometimes people have bad days.

Finally Anna Haag had a good race! Before the season I was sure she was going to show big improvements this year, perhaps this success will keep going untill the end of the season. And the rest of the team performed very well. So Sweden won a silver today and proved the Swedish punters wrong.

The US had a weird race. The weakest link Sadie Bjornsen had a very good race. Kikkan Randall, the strongest link was totally out of it. Stephen continued her 10k performance and Diggins was good, not as good as at her best, but still pretty good.

Germany did not have a good day. But they have not been that good this championship. I don't know weather Gøssner tried to engage the turbo or not when it was her turn.

And how cool is Weng!:cool:



The combined today will be interesting. The jumping was totally out of wack due to too much speed in the latter stages of the jumping. So it's going to be very exciting.


Looks like Tarjei beat Fourcade in the sprint in Holmenkollen today. 0,1 Seconds ahead!

Emil is sick and is on penicilin, hopefully he will be back for Sochi.
TBH, Norway was in a position that none of their four selected would've been out of place taking a leg in the other discipline. Brilliant performance by Weng, her blowing the race to bits set in the race pattern which, barring major blow-ups by her team-mates, merely required them to maintain distance on the real "four leg" contenders.Whilst Johaug and Steira were, in all fact, off their best, neither did they implode or realistically weaken sufficiently to allow a realistical challenge to their dominance. Bjoergen merely had to cruise to collect but her "cruise" is still damned formidable.

One scary hit-out for the distance classic race by Kowalczyk. Have never been a fan but one must pay full credit to a quality performance when one sees it.

SWE had 3 excellent legs but the distance proved 1/2 a lap too far for Ingemarsdottir who was crying "Taxi" to get home on the lead classic leg. High class and intelligent run by Wiken who didn't spend all her fuel trying to make up ground straight away. Haag's run was probably the best run I've seen from her since Vancouver ... will she follow-up this form or is this just "flattering to deceive". Kalla, with the exception of her 15k pursuit run in TdS, just hasn't looked quite right this season. She burned off any hope for Sarasoja at the start of the leg to ensure silver and then it was just maintain station.

Totally agree FIN got in majorly wrong with their skating selections. Makkarainen & Lahtenmakki would've been my picks and most likely would NOT have "died" like the others. RUS has, in recent times, generally been well out of medal contention, going into the last leg but this time they weren't. Tchakaleva had a medal "sniff" and there was an air of total inevitability to her pursuit and destruction of Sarasoja. She certainly bore out her form from the 10k

Found Randall's selection on the 2nd classic leg distinctly curious given her strength is skating especially at anything beyond sprint distance. Maybe USA still has a depth issue in this discipline ? Gossner's run ? The horse HAD already bolted with regards to medal contention before she started her leg so maybe it was just a "cruise/just finish" or maybe she'd spent all she had to give in the 10k.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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ToreBear said:
Thanks for the update!
you're welcome. i happened to sit on my hands during the last few days and, as i indicated in an earlier post, enjoy monitoring a wide variety of xc ski sources in an effort to satisfy my hunger for race analysis...
The politics of Russian skiing resembles the politics of the Russian Federation. Totally weird!
it's not so much their politics (that is probably present in all federations), but it's their complete lack of human dimension and their treating of the athletes as some pieces of wood that bothers me so much. let's take for instance the already mentioned head of their ski fed - vyalbe. she was one of the greatest skiers of all time, all right, but now, not only she acquired about 20 kg of pure lard (plus being a chain smoker :eek:) she also allows herself public insults of her subordinate athletes and coaches. take the controversy with legkov in the mixed relay or her ugly insulting the olympic silver pangynski (sp?) and his defender national coach that she was right about the poor chap 'worth (her exact words) a kick in the face rather than a place on team russia...i understand their culture a bit but things like are described go beyond weird !

weng was an eye candy today. love everything about her striding, cornering, descending...
 
ToreBear said:
Germany did not have a good day. But they have not been that good this championship. I don't know weather Gøssner tried to engage the turbo or not when it was her turn.
In reality, they don't have many genuine medal contenders. Some of the comments from the team about the motivation coming from the reality check that has been being beaten so comprehensively by a biathlete point to some work to be done.

(PS I find it cute how you always use the ø instead of the ö for Gössner ;))
And how cool is Weng!:cool:
:cool:

Looks like Tarjei beat Fourcade in the sprint in Holmenkollen today. 0,1 Seconds ahead!

Emil is sick and is on penicilin, hopefully he will be back for Sochi.
Yes, really exciting finish there, Bø's standing shoot was a sight to behold, the crowd had hardly had time to react to one shot before the next was down! He needed that to win though, as Fourcade only shot 8/10, so his ski form at present is pretty much unstoppable with Emil ill.

Emil's supposed to be back in the Mass Start if he can be.

Also, how deep are the Russian men?! Loginov and Tsvetkov making their first World Cup performances, both top 10 with 10/10 shooting. This on a day with Ustyugov, Malyshko, Shipulin and Garanichev all out preparing for Sochi!
 
Aug 9, 2012
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python said:
you're welcome. i happened to sit on my hands during the last few days and, as i indicated in an earlier post, enjoy monitoring a wide variety of xc ski sources in an effort to satisfy my hunger for race analysis...
it's not so much their politics (that is probably present in all federations), but it's their complete lack of human dimension and their treating of the athletes as some pieces of wood that bothers me so much. let's take for instance the already mentioned head of their ski fed - vyalbe. she was one of the greatest skiers of all time, all right, but now, not only she acquired about 20 kg of pure lard (plus being a chain smoker :eek:) she also allows herself public insults of her subordinate athletes and coaches. take the controversy with legkov in the mixed relay or her ugly insulting the olympic silver pangynski (sp?) and his defender national coach that she was right about the poor chap 'worth (her exact words) a kick in the face rather than a place on team russia...i understand their culture a bit but things like are described go beyond weird !

weng was an eye candy today. love everything about her striding, cornering, descending...
Your lucky:D I'm watching all the events, and that doesn't give me much time to let things sink in, or look for new information.

I heard/saw/read, don't remember, how horrible the Russian youth training is. They likely waste a ton of huge talents. And with the top woman in Russian skiing acting like that, it seems the culture of that federation is very unhealthy. Then again, more medals for the rest of us until they sort things out.;)

Yep, she is an extreme talent. I remember watching a slomo of a double polling sprint between her and Johaug. Weng got everything as far as I could see right while Johaug was totally off the technique. It was impressive.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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dirkprovin said:
TBH, Norway was in a position that none of their four selected would've been out of place taking a leg in the other discipline. Brilliant performance by Weng, her blowing the race to bits set in the race pattern which, barring major blow-ups by her team-mates, merely required them to maintain distance on the real "four leg" contenders.Whilst Johaug and Steira were, in all fact, off their best, neither did they implode or realistically weaken sufficiently to allow a realistical challenge to their dominance. Bjoergen merely had to cruise to collect but her "cruise" is still damned formidable.

One scary hit-out for the distance classic race by Kowalczyk. Have never been a fan but one must pay full credit to a quality performance when one sees it.

SWE had 3 excellent legs but the distance proved 1/2 a lap too far for Ingemarsdottir who was crying "Taxi" to get home on the lead classic leg. High class and intelligent run by Wiken who didn't spend all her fuel trying to make up ground straight away. Haag's run was probably the best run I've seen from her since Vancouver ... will she follow-up this form or is this just "flattering to deceive". Kalla, with the exception of her 15k pursuit run in TdS, just hasn't looked quite right this season. She burned off any hope for Sarasoja at the start of the leg to ensure silver and then it was just maintain station.

Totally agree FIN got in majorly wrong with their skating selections. Makkarainen & Lahtenmakki would've been my picks and most likely would NOT have "died" like the others. RUS has, in recent times, generally been well out of medal contention, going into the last leg but this time they weren't. Tchakaleva had a medal "sniff" and there was an air of total inevitability to her pursuit and destruction of Sarasoja. She certainly bore out her form from the 10k

Found Randall's selection on the 2nd classic leg distinctly curious given her strength is skating especially at anything beyond sprint distance. Maybe USA still has a depth issue in this discipline ? Gossner's run ? The horse HAD already bolted with regards to medal contention before she started her leg so maybe it was just a "cruise/just finish" or maybe she'd spent all she had to give in the 10k.
Good observations! I get so excited during the races, that I miss a ton of things.:D Have to watch the replay.

Yep Wiken was impressive, perhaps she can do something in the 30k. Tchekaleva was very strong. And her style is very powerfull. But all the Russians had good legs before her, so it was a strong team effort.

Gøssner timings looked like she hit the wall on the final lap. She started with France but fell behind. Well I havent had much time to think about that yet.

The USA has a problem in classic. Randall is their strongest in that discipline. But Bjornsen looked quite good in her leg, so they will improve.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
In reality, they don't have many genuine medal contenders. Some of the comments from the team about the motivation coming from the reality check that has been being beaten so comprehensively by a biathlete point to some work to be done.

(PS I find it cute how you always use the ø instead of the ö for Gössner ;))

:cool:


Yes, really exciting finish there, Bø's standing shoot was a sight to behold, the crowd had hardly had time to react to one shot before the next was down! He needed that to win though, as Fourcade only shot 8/10, so his ski form at present is pretty much unstoppable with Emil ill.

Emil's supposed to be back in the Mass Start if he can be.

Also, how deep are the Russian men?! Loginov and Tsvetkov making their first World Cup performances, both top 10 with 10/10 shooting. This on a day with Ustyugov, Malyshko, Shipulin and Garanichev all out preparing for Sochi!
Hehe, you gave me the idea the way you spelled boeff with a charachter I havent seen before.

I figured the sounds are the same in a lot of languages, so why not use the ones I have here. And Gøssner is half Norwegian afterall.:D

As for the German women, they have had some bad years, but there is a new generation coming through. Also the Norwegian Juniors have started to cooperate(i.e help) both the German and USA juniors IIRC, so with time things should improve for the Germans.

Poor Martin, keeps being beatin by Norwegians by centimeters and 1/100s of seconds.:D
Yep the Russian have an enormous dept. By I think they lack the capability to get the max out of them on the highest level. I think it's a question of assisting their athletes mentally.


Libertine Seguros said:
Heidi's mother is hilarious.
And she is extremely fit. I think she like her daughter have been champion uphill runners.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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Mens 4x10 relay

So the big day is here and I'm nervous. Todays event is the one where I really, really don't want Sweden to beat us.

But the Swedish team now looks stronger than ever.
RICHARDSSON Daniel
OLSSON Johan
HELLNER Marcus
HALFVARSSON Calle

Calle is a cool Charachter, and good in the mass start game. But I think he still lacks a bit when it comes to outfoxing Northug.

The Russians are scary.
BELOV Evgeniy
VYLEGZHANIN Maxim
LEGKOV Alexander
USTIUGOV Sergey

Despite what I heard earlier, they opted to include Legkov. Smart move.

The dark horse here is Ustiugov. He is young, but he looks like he has a Northug style finnish. Perhaps better!:eek:

Though I don't know how good it is after a 10k. Personally I hope Northug increases the tempo and drops him before the finish. He can use world cup races to find out how good his finish really is.


With Sweden, Russia, and Norway all having good finishers with no reason to pull the field, the last stage could go really slow.

Perhaps similar to Sjursøen last year, where a ton of teams were able to come into play. That ended very well for Norway since Norway 1 and I think Norway 2 took 1st and 2nd.

So those who waited for Northug to pull the field really made a bad tactical decision.

This race is open. There are many countries who could win and get a medal.

Please let it be Norway.....
 
May 5, 2011
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Agreed. What the hell was everyone thinking? Nordthug must have been laughing too himself for most of that race thinking "you guys are kinda stupid arent you?"
 
Aug 9, 2012
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I thought it was very exciting!
Though I am insanely biased.:D

So what happened? Well as far as i understand it the temperature happened. And this is especially difficult in classic style.
- there is a layer on top of the tracks that the front skier removes. The next skier then gets a huge glide advantage coming in from behind.

- The snow conditions make the skiing real tough and draining.
- Ski preparation becomes extremely difficult.
- Norway still has the edge with these conditions(but also skiers who know how to conserve their skis).
- Those who have real bad skis loose minutes, those who have skis that are a little bit off, use much more energy.

France and Canada for example were totally off on glide on their second leg and were out of it.

Hence attacking like Weng did yesterday is extremely risky.

These problems are not as bad in skate due to the skies not hitting the same surface, but it's still hard to get away.

On the final lap it was a repeat of Sjursjøen. No one willing to use up energy that they can use in a sprint, I had hopes that Teichmann would do something, but I think he fell twice, and broke one pole and 1 ski.:(

David Hofer should have tried to increase the pace. But I guess he did'nt feel like it.

No, the snow conditions did not favor offensive skiing, especially in classic.

If the tracks are the same way tomorrow and on Sunday it could get really boring, since both races are in classic.:(

Though some of the women are much stronger, so it's likely to become a slog out.

One good thing though is that they can change skis during the race, so it might not get as bad as today.
 
ToreBear said:
I thought it was very exciting!
Though I am insanely biased.:D

So what happened? Well as far as i understand it the temperature happened. And this is especially difficult in classic style.
- there is a layer on top of the tracks that the front skier removes. The next skier then gets a huge glide advantage coming in from behind.

- The snow conditions make the skiing real tough and draining.
- Ski preparation becomes extremely difficult.
- Norway still has the edge with these conditions(but also skiers who know how to conserve their skis).
- Those who have real bad skis loose minutes, those who have skis that are a little bit off, use much more energy.

France and Canada for example were totally off on glide on their second leg and were out of it.

Hence attacking like Weng did yesterday is extremely risky.

These problems are not as bad in skate due to the skies not hitting the same surface, but it's still hard to get away.

On the final lap it was a repeat of Sjursjøen. No one willing to use up energy that they can use in a sprint, I had hopes that Teichmann would do something, but I think he fell twice, and broke one pole and 1 ski.:(

David Hofer should have tried to increase the pace. But I guess he did'nt feel like it.

No, the snow conditions did not favor offensive skiing, especially in classic.

If the tracks are the same way tomorrow and on Sunday it could get really boring, since both races are in classic.:(

Though some of the women are much stronger, so it's likely to become a slog out.

One good thing though is that they can change skis during the race, so it might not get as bad as today.
I don't complain about the classic loops. They were ok given the circumstances. But the whole race was destroyed by that pathetic last skating round. What a bunch of crap that was :eek:
Tomorrow will be interesting.
Kovalchik will blow up the race right from the beginning.
If it will be similar warm as today i could see Johaug hangig on, though. The warmer, the worse for Kovalchik i think.
Anyway the women's race will be as always. Kovalchik simply wants to prove something. hende she will set a high pace and rip the field apart.
With Sunday, your are totally right, though.
Mass start classic races are borefests anyway, with conditions like today, it will even be worse. 48km of total boringness.
 
Bavarianrider said:
Wow i think i'll simply quit watching male races. What the hell happened to this sport:confused::confused::eek:
Two days ago it was an example of a real sport because you were upset Germany's best skiing talent is a biathlete.

ToreBear said:
I thought it was very exciting!
Though I am insanely biased.
Did you find the Holmenkollen sprint very exciting? Tora Berger is just too good this year.

Hopefully Dahlmeier's emergence can take some of the pressure off Gössner, because she's had too much expectation piled onto those sometimes fragile shoulders this season thanks to Germany's need for results and expectations of success. Gössner is, on her day, capable of beating anybody even if she misses half her targets, but she's far too inconsistent to lead a team for as demanding a nation as Germany single-handedly (especially if she continues to do the occasional XC race).
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Two days ago it was an example of a real sport because you were upset Germany's best skiing talent is a biathlete.


Did you find the Holmenkollen sprint very exciting? Tora Berger is just too good this year.

Hopefully Dahlmeier's emergence can take some of the pressure off Gössner, because she's had too much expectation piled onto those sometimes fragile shoulders this season thanks to Germany's need for results and expectations of success. Gössner is, on her day, capable of beating anybody even if she misses half her targets, but she's far too inconsistent to lead a team for as demanding a nation as Germany single-handedly (especially if she continues to do the occasional XC race).
I am not complaining about the ladies races.Only the men.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
Did you find the Holmenkollen sprint very exciting? Tora Berger is just too good this year.

Hopefully Dahlmeier's emergence can take some of the pressure off Gössner, because she's had too much expectation piled onto those sometimes fragile shoulders this season thanks to Germany's need for results and expectations of success. Gössner is, on her day, capable of beating anybody even if she misses half her targets, but she's far too inconsistent to lead a team for as demanding a nation as Germany single-handedly (especially if she continues to do the occasional XC race).
Nah, I was too satisfied with the relay to get my pump going.:D Tora started last due to the potential for easier snow conditions, and perhaps lighter wind.

I thought the shooting was bad for most. Liv Grete Skjelbred Poiree explained that the entry into the shooting contained a lot of downhill, meaning the pulse behavior became difficult to handle for those who were unprepared.

Gøssner might be a little tired. Which is understandable. And Dahlmeier was very impressive. I wonder if the German media will eat her up alive by the start of next season though.

As for Toras dominance. She could be off in her shooting next year, and everything opens up again.

Today she looked really tired. I think she can keep it together until her overall is secure, and then I think she will start to miss. Just a guess though.;)
 
Aug 9, 2012
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Bavarianrider said:
I don't complain about the classic loops. They were ok given the circumstances. But the whole race was destroyed by that pathetic last skating round. What a bunch of crap that was :eek:
Tomorrow will be interesting.
Kovalchik will blow up the race right from the beginning.
If it will be similar warm as today i could see Johaug hangig on, though. The warmer, the worse for Kovalchik i think.
Anyway the women's race will be as always. Kovalchik simply wants to prove something. hende she will set a high pace and rip the field apart.
With Sunday, your are totally right, though.
Mass start classic races are borefests anyway, with conditions like today, it will even be worse. 48km of total boringness.
By the way, Johaug tipped Weng as an outsider tomorrow. Perhaps she can be there in the end and beat Justyna in the sprint for gold.:D
 
ToreBear said:
Nah, I was too satisfied with the relay to get my pump going.:D Tora started last due to the potential for easier snow conditions, and perhaps lighter wind.

I thought the shooting was bad for most. Liv Grete Skjelbred Poiree explained that the entry into the shooting contained a lot of downhill, meaning the pulse behavior became difficult to handle for those who were unprepared.

Gøssner might be a little tired. Which is understandable. And Dahlmeier was very impressive. I wonder if the German media will eat her up alive by the start of next season though.

As for Toras dominance. She could be off in her shooting next year, and everything opens up again.

Today she looked really tired. I think she can keep it together until her overall is secure, and then I think she will start to miss. Just a guess though.;)
Gössner is almost certainly tired; the German press kind of ate her alive this season so Dahlmeier's emergence may take the heat off her (but put it onto Dahlmeier of course). However, if they destroy Dahlmeier, Franzi Preuß is about ready to come to the World Cup. As far as I can see Germany is going to be able to enter 8 at the final WC at Khanty thanks to their positions in the IBU-Cup, since Evi's already in the WC-kader, they should take Preuß and Karo Horchler. Karo's got a 100% starts to wins record in the IBU Cup and though she's not fast, you can't do better than that. Preuß is still a legit youth competitor but has won medals at the Junior Worlds and the Euros, and shoots in standing faster than Tora Berger.
 

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