Rastorgujevs and Varvynets secure the Sprint European Championships title in Ridanna

Loginov Rastorgujevs Anev OECH Ridnaun sprint men 26 01 2018 250

Ridanna, 26 January 2017 - On Friday the title fights in the Sprint took place at the Biathlon European Championships in Ridanna. The new European Champions are Latvian Andrejs Rastorgujevs and Ukrainian Iryna Varvynets. The best Italian, Karin Oberhofer from Velturno,  finished in ninth place. 


In the men's Sprint Andrejs Rastorgujevs won by a whisker after a high quality and exciting competition. The Latvian made one error in the shooting range, was extremely strong on the track and eventually won with a time of 23,09.6 minutes. Rastorgujevs is well known in the Biathlon World Cup. In 18th place in the current overall ranking he already finished twice among the top ten this year. In the season 2016/17 he won a podium place in the mass start in Oslo. 


Russian Alexander Loginov came in second. Like Rastorgujevs the 25-year old from Saratov hit nine of the ten discs and arrived in the finish with a delay of 5.5 seconds. Loginov has also previously beamed from the podium when he made third place in the Pursuit race in Oslo in 2012/13. This year, the Russian impressed in the highest international Biathlon series with three top ten results, among them a fourth place in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand. 


The Bronze medal went to Bulgarian Krasimir Anev. The 29-year old delivered a faultless performance in the shooting range and finished 24,5 seconds behind stage victor Rastorgujevs. Anev is a real Ridanna expert: During the European Championships in 2011 the man from Bulgaria already showed his skills here when he won a Silver and a Bronze. In the World Cup Anev's best results were a fourth and two sixth places.  


Italians not among the top 30


The five Italians at the start had to content with places outside the top 30. The best Italian athlete, Rudy Zini, finished in 32nd place without having missed a shot. Immediately behind him came Pietro Dutto in 33rd place. Saverio Zini was 74th, while South Tyrol's only athlete at the start, Andreas Plaickner from Montassilone came in in 112th place. Paolo Rodigari finished 118th. 


Varvynets delivers faultless performance and wins women's Sprint title


In the women's Sprint, Ukrainian Iryna Varvynets was unbeatable. The 25-year old hit all ten discs and set the fastest time of the race with 20,54.1 minutes. Varvynets has already attracted much attention in the World Cup, where she finished in the top ten three times. In this season, the athlete from the Ukraine was not as successful in the top international competition series, and only achieved an overall 15th place. 


Chloé Chevalier from France won Silver. The brand-new Individual European Champion did not deliver a faultless performance in the shooting range, but  secured second place thanks to a superior performance on the track. The podium was completed by Japanese biathlete Fuyuko Tachizaki, a competitor from outside Europe. Because the Biathlon European Championships in Ridanna are European Open Championships, Tachizaki, who has experience in the World Cup, was also able to compete and was included the overall rankings in third place. This was the first international medal for a Japanese biathlete. Her coaching team, incidentally, is headed by South Tyrolean Ubaldo Prucker. 


Karin Oberhofer in ninth place


Karin Oberhofer from Velturno delivered a decent performance. The local athlete had to ski one penalty circuit and finished in ninth place - only just over 15 seconds behind the winner of the Bronze medal. The second Italian in the team, Ginevra Rocchia, scored three misses in the shooting range and finished in 79th place. 


The European Championships in Ridanna will continue on Saturday with the two Pursuit races. The men's competition starts at 1:00 pm, the women's at 3:00 pm. Both races can be seen live, including on Eurosport 2. A free live stream is also available from the official website of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) www.biathlonworld.com.  


Sprint Men (10 km)


1. Andrejs Rastorgujevs LAT 24,03.0 minutes / 1 error

2. Alexander Loginov RUS +5.5 / 1

3.Krasimir Anev BUL +24.5 (0)

4. Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit NOR +31.7 / 0

5. Artem Pryma UKR +38.6 / 0


32. Rudy Zini ITA +1,39.6 / 0

33. Pietro Dutto ITA +1,40.1 / 1

74. Saverio Zini ITA +2,31.2 / 2

112. Andreas Plaickner ITA/Tesselberg +3,52.6 / 4

118. Paolo Rodigari ITA +4,30.5 / 4


Sprint women (7.5 km)


1. Iryna Varvynets UKR 19,53. minutes / 0 errors

2. Chloé Chevalier FRA +12.5 / 1

3. Fuyuko Tachizaki JPN +15.5 / 0

4. Victoria Slivko RUS +17.6 / 0

5. Karolin Horchler GER +24.6 / 0


9. Karin Oberhofer ITA/Feldthurns +30.8 / 1

79. Ginevra Rocchia ITA +3,31.0 / 3


Comments on the men's race: 


Andrejs Rastorgujevs (Gold): At the World Cup in Anterselva I have had a difficult time in the shooting range, and so I spent a lot of time in the last few days  working on my shooting. Today it was clear that all this hard work paid off. It is also a great motivator for Olympic Gold. 


Alexander Loginov (Silver): The race was very tight, only a few small episodes made the difference between first and second place. I am now focusing forward to the Pursuit: I am planning to go on full attack - let's see what the outcome of that will be. 


Krasimir Anev (Bronze): I want to give everything in every race, whether it's a World Cup or a European Championships. I have done that also today and I am very pleased with the result. When I started the final round in fourth place I had to fight hard - but thanks to the service people and my team that has prepared me perfectly, I still succeeded in coming in in third place. 


Comments on the women's race:


Iryna Varvynets (Gold): After the Individual competition on Wednesday I was not at all happy with my shooting. Today I therefore concentrated especially hard in the shooting range. It was my luck that not many finished without errors, otherwise it would probably not have been enough for the victory. 


Chloé Chevalier (Silver): Two races, two medals - it could not have gone better for me. In the standing shooting I missed the first disc and got a little nervous, but thankfully, there were no further errors. 


Fuyuko Tachizaki (Bronze): With this medal a big dream came true. The focus of my season had been the Olympics and I "only" took part in Ridanna as part of the preparations, but with this result I have exceeded everything I have achieved so far. At the end of the race I did not only fight hard in the track, I was already dreaming of a medal. Now I'm in seventh heaven. 


Biathlon European Championships - 22 to 28 January 2018

Competition programme: 

Saturday, 27 January: Pursuit Men (1:00 pm), Pursuit Women (3:00 pm)

Sunday, 28 January: Individual Mixed Relay (1:00 pm), Mixed Relay (3:00 pm)


Supporting programme:

Saturday, 27 January 2018: 

10:00 am - 12:00 noon early morning get-together for a drink in the stadium

12:00 noon + 2:00 pm: Great fashion parade "Snow White and Fashion"

3:00 pm. -  7:00 pm. Entertainment in the marquee with DJ

11:00 am:  Awards ceremony Pursuit races

From approx. 8:30 pm: LIVE band - "ELCHOS"

Sunday, 28 January 2018:

10:00 am -  5:00 pm: Entertainment in the marquee with DJ

Approx. 17.00 Closing ceremony of the Biathlon European Championships



Foto: Christian Manzoni

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