January 24, 2011 (Antholz, Italy) – Norway’s Tora Berger won her fourth consecutive individual competition on Sunday, netting the top podium spot in the women’s 12.5km Mass Start at the IBU World Cup in Antholz. Berger narrowly edged out Marie Laure Brunet of France to win by a mere .6 seconds after hitting 18 of 20 targets from the range.
“I left the stadium with Kuzmina and was only trying to be third,” Berger told Biathlonworld.com, “Then I was going so fast and saw the other two people in front of me. So I tried to fight the hardest that I could. . . I just fought with all I had at that point. I was strong enough.”
Brunet, who was chasing down her first ever World Cup win before Berger spoiled the party, settled for 2nd place after a one-miss performance. Bulgaria’s Darya Domracheva was the only racer to hit all 20 targets on the day, grabbing the last podium spot with a time of 34:02.1.
“This place seems to be lucky for me. I really like the nature and the tracks,” said Domracheva post race, “I was very happy with my shooting today, after five penalties in the sprint. But I was disappointed in my skiing. I did not have the best skis, as fast as some of the others.”
Laura Spector, the lone North American, finished 29th after a 5-miss performance that gave her a finishing time of 38:33.5.
“I felt so tired today, my legs were really heavy. I can’t believe that I missed the last shot, but that happens,” commented Spector in a US Biathlon report. “It’s really good to have a break now to recover a bit.”
1. Tora Berger, NOR (0+1+0+1) 33:56.3
2. Laure Marie Brunet, FRA (0+0+0+1) 33:56.9
3. Darya Domracheva, BLR (0+0+0+0) 34:02.1
29. Laura Spector, USA (1+1+1+2)