Shadows and Clean Shooting
The men started as the afternoon shadows dropped over the stadium, also making this clear day seem quite cold. The wind on the shooting range was not very severe although some athletes were obviously bothered by it. However, many were not which resulted in a lot of clean shooting.
The early leader was Beatrix who started at number 2. His clean shooting put him at the top of the leader board right away. Then at number 18 came Fak who admitted yesterday after the mixed relay that he had no energy. Today was a different story. He was in and out of prone 6 seconds faster than Beatrix, repeated his clean shooting in standing and was "off to the races." His 7.8 second lead after standing ballooned to more than 25 seconds over his French rival by the finish.
Still, Fourcade and Schempp both had a chance. Fourcade skied well right from the start and clean prone stage gave him the lead. However, he missed a standing shot that put him 16 second back. Over the final 3.3K, he lost another 10 seconds and his chance for the podium, because Schempp, just two start spots behind him had cleaned both stages. Schempp left the stadium just 4.3 seconds behind the Slovenian. Like Fourcade, he lost ground on the last loop, finishing behind Fak, and ahead of Beatrix and Fourcade.
Important to Shoot Zero
Fak was happy to move from third place in the Antholz sprint to first today. "It was important to shoot zero; for me it was important because in Antholz I missed the last shot. Today I hit it and could run my own race." He also admitted that he wanted to make up for his bad experience and a prone penalty in the mixed relay. "I wanted to make everything better after yesterday having a bad experience." As for the rest of the season, he added, "Even if I do not win a medal at the WCH, it is always nice to have good results in the World Cup and I will remember winning here."
Happy in Second
Schempp who slowed down in the last loop, found it hard to explain. "Jakov was unbelievably fast on last loop; I did not feel that I was too tired, but he was too strong...Still, I am very happy with second place."
Watching on the Big Screen
Beatrix had his first podium of the season, but admitted waiting to see if someone would take his spot was hard. "I was very happy with my race. Then I watched the rest of it on the big screen with great interest!" He added, "I think I could be on the podium more often because my skiing is very good. But I need to make improvements in shooting; this was my first clean shooting of the season."
Sprint Men (10 km):