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Wrapping up the World Cups

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS
Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS

The IBU biathlon World Cup wraps up the 2017 season in Holmenkollen, while cross-country returns to Canada for a 3-day mini tour this weekend.

Madshus podium girls Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), Heidi Weng (NOR) and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) returns to Canada for the final World Cup weekend of the season.

The mini tour opens with skate sprints for men and women on March 17, continues with 10km and 15km classic mass starts for women and men respectively on Saturday, and concludes with 10km and 15km pursuits on Sunday.

Heading into the mini tour world cup final in Quebec, Weng is leading the overall World Cup with a total of 1746 points. Pärmäkoski sits in second place with 1446 points, while Østberg is third with 1352 points total.

Weng also leads the distance World Cup, while Pärmäkoski is third.

Bitahlon party
For the biathlon racers, the 2017 World Cup will conclude in Holmenkollen (NOR), the host of the 2016 IBU World Championships. The weekend features sprint races for men and women on Friday, March 17, continues with men’s and women’s pursuit races on Saturday, and concludes with mass start events on Sunday.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) earned her first two World Championship medals in Oslo last year when she won the bronze medal in the mixed relay and then anchored Norway to gold in the women’s relay. Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR), who won three individual medals at the World Championships in Oslo last year, as well as helping Norway to gold in the men’s relay, is also looking forward to cap off the season on home turf.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) anchored Norway to gold in the relay at the 2016 IBU world championships in Oslo (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

Marte Olsbu (NOR) anchored Norway to gold in the relay at the 2016 IBU world championships in Oslo (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

6 World Championship Medals

17.02.2017, Hochfilzen, Austria (AUT):
Vanessa Hinz (GER) - IBU world championships biathlon, medals, Hochfilzen (AUT). www.nordicfocus.com. © NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.
17.02.2017, Hochfilzen, Austria (AUT): Vanessa Hinz (GER) - IBU world championships biathlon, medals, Hochfilzen (AUT). www.nordicfocus.com. © NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.

Vanessa Hinz (GER) took home two gold medals from the 2107 IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT). Photo: Nordic Focus

Madshus athletes took home three gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze from the IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen.

Germany opened the 2017 IBU Biathlon World Championships in Hochflizen (AUT) on the top of the podium as Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to gold in the mixed relay on February 9.

Next, Benedikt Doll (GER) earns his first individual World Championship gold medal on Saturday, February 11.

“First place feels really special,” Doll (GER) said after winning his first individual World Championship medal.

He didn’t miss a single target in the men’s 10km sprint. He raced faster than he ever has, and won his first individual World Championships gold medal with a 0.7 second margin.

“It’s amazing. It’s unreal. First place feels really special,” Doll said after his race.

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Benedikt Doll (GER) won the 10km sprint at the IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT) - hist 1st individual World Championship medal. Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll (GER) won the 10km sprint at the IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT) – hist 1st individual World Championship medal. Photo: Nordic Focus

The king delivers
On Sunday February 12 Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR) won his 45th World Championship medal, hauling into third place in the pursuit. He started in eighth place, almost 40 seconds behind Doll.

“I have many medals, but this is a brand new one and this was a victory for me,” Bjørndalen said after his race.

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Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) earned his 45th World Championship medal in the pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) earned his 45th World Championship medal in the pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Another relay gold
Vanessa Hinz went home from Hochfilzen with two gold medals in her pocket. On Saturday, she skied the opening leg for the German women and helped her team to another victory in the 4x6km relay.

Madshus skiers Iryna Varvynets and Anastasiya Merkushyna took home the silver medal for Ukraine, only six seconds behind the German women.

ryna Varvynets and Anastasiya Merkushyna took home the silver medal for Ukraine. Photo: Madshus

Iryna Varvynets and Anastasiya Merkushyna took home the silver medal for Ukraine in the women’s relay on Friday. Photo: Madshus

 

“First place feels really special”

Benedikt Doll (GER) won the 10km sprint at the IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT) - hist 1st individual World Championship medal. Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll earns his first World Championship gold medal, while Ole Einar Bjørndalen collects his 45th medal.

Benedikt Doll (GER) won the 10km sprint at the IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT) - hist 1st individual World Championship medal. Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll (GER) won the 10km sprint at the IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT) – hist 1st individual World Championship medal. Photo: Nordic Focus

Germany opened the 2017 IBU Biathlon World Championships in Hochflizen (AUT) on the top of the podium as Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to gold in the mixed relay, the first event at the championships.

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Vanessa Hinz (GER) helped Germany to gold in the mixed relay the opening event at the 2017 IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT). Here from the pursuit on Sunday Photo: Nordic Focus

Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to gold in the mixed relay the opening event at the 2017 IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT). Here from the pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

First individual gold medal
On Saturday, Benedikt Doll (GER) went all the way to the top of the podium. He didn’t miss a single target in the men’s 10km sprint. He raced faster than he ever has, and won his first individual World Championships gold medal with a 0.7 second margin.

“It’s amazing. It’s unreal. First place feels really special,” Doll said to reporters after his race.

It was only the third time in his entire career that Doll shot clean.

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Benedikt Doll (GER) hauled into gold in the sprint on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll (GER) hauled into gold in the sprint on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

The king delivers
On Sunday, Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR) won his 45th World Championship medal, hauling into third place in the pursuit. He started in eighth place, almost 40 seconds behind Doll.

“I have many medals, but this is a brand new one and this was a victory for me,” Bjørndalen said after his race.

“That means a lot for the rest of the championships, and I’m excited. If you have the perfect day, it doesn’t matter what the event is. But everything has to fall into place. I hope to do it again this week.”

The IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen (AUT) continues with the women’s 15km individual competition on Wednesday, the men’s 20km individual competition on Thursday, the women’s relay on Friday, men’s relay on Saturday and concludes with mass start events for both men and women on Sunday.

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) earned his 45th World Championship medal in the pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) earned his 45th World Championship medal in the pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Strong Racing at World Cup Opener

Marte Olsbu (NOR) raced the opening leg in the mixed team relay at the IBU World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

Madshus racers posted six World Cup podiums on the opening weekend in both biathlon and cross-country.

At the FIS cross-country World Cup opener in Ruka (FIN), Pål Golberg (NOR) marked his territory on the first possible opportunity: By winning the classic sprint on Saturday.

“It was fun to win here today, especially after my third place in the quarterfinal. But my strategy for the semi final and the final worked out. Holding back a bit at the start gave me more power for the last hill and the finish,” Golberg said after the race.

Golberg has been outside the national team leading up to this season, and was only named to national team for the World Cup opener as a last-minute alternate. However, with the decisive sprint victory, Golberg made a strong case for a spot on the national team for the mini tour in Lillehammer on December 2-4. Lillehammer is also the venue where Golberg had his major international breakthrough two years ago.

“Being on my own and outside the national team leading up to this season has certainly been a different experience, given that I have been on the team for the last eight years. But I know that I have been training well and doing the right things. My goal is to race as many World Cup events as possible and be named to the National team for the 2017 World Championships in Lahti (FIN),” Golberg said after his sprint.

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26.11.2016, Ruka, Finland (FIN): Paal Golberg (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, individual sprint, Ruka (FIN). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.

Pål Golberg (NOR) won the classic sprint at the FIS World Cup opener in Ruka (FIN). Photo: Nordic Focus

Also on Saturday, Heidi Weng (NOR) was third in the women’s sprint. The podium finish marks a first for Weng at the season opener.

“I have never had such a good season opener before, and never made it to the final in an early season World Cup sprint in Finland, so I am very happy,” Weng said after her sprint.

On Sunday, Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) was second in the 10-kilometer classic race, while Weng earned another third place.

“After the first kilometer I thought I would stop the race. I felt really bad. But the then it got better and better. I am really happy about 2nd place. I finished only five seconds behind Marit (Bjørgen) so maybe I can win next week,” Pärmäkoski said after her race.

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Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd in the 10km classic race at the FIS World Cup opener in Ruka (FIN). www.nordicfocus.com. Photo: NordicFocus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd in the 10km classic race at the FIS World Cup opener in Ruka (FIN). www.nordicfocus.com. Photo: Nordic Focus

Weng was also pleased with her second podium in two days, which is her best ever World Cup season opener.

“To leave World Cup opener with two podiums is great. I am happy I showed yesterday I can sprint fast. Today’s 3rd place is great as well. I started little bit slowly, but later in the race I picked up the speed. I like this course very much. The tough uphills here suit me. It was a very good weekend for me in Ruka,” Weng said.

The FIS World Cup now moves on to Lillehammer (NOR) for a mini tour on December 2-4.

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Heidi Weng (NOR) was on the podium twice in the FIS World Cup opener weekend in Ruka (FIN) - with in the classic sprint on Saturday and in the 10km classic on Sunday. Photo: NordicFocus

Heidi Weng (NOR) was on the podium twice during the FIS World Cup opener weekend in Ruka (FIN), both in the classic sprint on Saturday and in the 10km classic on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

At the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE), Marte Olsbu and Ole Einar Bjørndalen helped Norway to victory.

“I was really nervous today, but I had super fast skis. It’s really fun to be at it again, and I’m looking forward to more. This is what we train for all year round,” said Olsbu, who skied the first leg for Norway.

The Norwegians had an impressive half-minute gap to Germany in second place, where Madshus racer Benedikt Doll did a solid job to keep the team ahead of Italy in third place.

The IBU biathlon World Cup Östersund continues with the women’s 15km normal competition on November 30, the men’s 20km normal competition on December 1, sprints for men and women on December 3 and concludes with pursuit races for men and women on December 4.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) raced the opening leg in the mixed team relay at the IBU World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

Marte Olsbu (NOR) raced the opening leg in the mixed team relay on Sunday and helped Norway to first place at the IBU World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Bjørndalen Aims for Overall World Cup

Ole Einar Bjørndalen at the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with a second place in the sprint on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ole Einar Bjørndalen at the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with a second place in the sprint on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjørndalen at the World Cup in Pokljuka (SLO) December 2015. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR) is as motivated as ever headed into his 24th World Cup season.

This weekend marked the start of the 2017 FIS and biathlon season, and the 42-year-old veteran has his eyes set on winning the 2017 IBU World Cup.

“The overall World Cup is my main goal this season, which means I have to perform consistently throughout the season. Of course, I will try to peak for the World Championships, but I am not focusing on that until just prior to the championships,” Bjørndalen says.

The seasoned veteran is known to have the peaking plan down to a T, and after almost 25 years at the World Cup level, Bjørndalen is as motivated as ever.

“I’m having fun. I love training, and this is what I love doing. I still see new opportunities. I still have a lot of potential and areas where I can improve when I get my workouts done as planned. I am very excited for this season,” says Bjørndalen, who just became a father last month.

The first World Cup races take place in Östersund (SWE) November 27 to December 4.

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