e Biathlon

Johannes Thingnes Bø was in a class of his own, and not just at the shooting range. © APA/afp / MARCO BERTORELLO

Only one person can see through the Antholz fog

It was a chaotic start to the Biathlon World Cup in the South Tyrol Arena. New racing format, surprising outsiders, wind, fog and changing conditions - only one thing remained as (almost) always: the winning face.

Johannes Thingnes Bø left his mark on the first World Cup competition in Antholz and secured victory ahead of his brother Tarjei Bø. The two Norwegians were the defining lights of the men's individual race, which was held for the first time as planned in Antholz over the shortened distance of 15 kilometers and penalty times of 45 instead of 60 seconds.

With the new, faster format, the racing tactics of the world's best ski hunters also changed somewhat. However, it was primarily due to the wind that only two starters in the entire field made no shooting errors. These were the Romanian George Buta, who surprised in 21st place, and the exceptional Johannes Thingnes Bø. He shot better and faster than anyone else, he ran more consistently than anyone else. In the end he finished with a huge lead of more than a minute and a half.

The “best of the rest” was his brother Tarjei Bø, who was five years older than him, who came second after two shooting errors and was eight seconds ahead of third-placed Johannes Kühn, who was one of three Germans in the top ten at the end. prevailed.

Tommaso Giacomel ran to the front of the field in eighth place. © APA/afp / MARCO BERTORELLO

The local heroes had an extremely difficult situation on Thursday in Antholz - although Tommaso Giacomel at least achieved a good placement in eighth. However, he would have been able to do a lot more if he hadn't scored a total of 180 penalty seconds at the shooting range. The young Trentino native was the only one in the top 20 who missed the target by four shots.

Bitter end for Hofer

It was even tougher for Lukas Hofer, who had to struggle with changing wind conditions in the first prone shooting and missed three times. In the end, he made eight (!) shooting errors. Annoying: On the skis, the Pusterer was stronger than ever before this season and recorded the third-best running time. Coming in 65th, Hofer missed qualifying for the mass start on Sunday and thus deprived himself of a second race at home in Antholz. The same applies to Ridnauntaler Patrick Braunhofer. He took 36th place after three shooting errors and was therefore the second best Azzurro ahead of Elia Zeni (42nd), Didier Bionaz (49th) and Hofer.

The World Cup program in the upper Antholz Valley continues on Friday with the women's individual race over the shortened 12,5 kilometers. The starting shot will be at 13.40:XNUMX p.m.

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