Disappointing results for Sweden’s biathlon team at the home World Cup in Östersund: The Scandinavians didn’t get a single podium place – also because their hopeful Martin Ponsiluoma experienced a bitter fiasco at the shooting range in the mass start.
Ponsiluoma made a whopping five mistakes, who, in the absence of his corona-infected compatriot Sebastian Samuelsson, had actually started with great expectations in his prime discipline.
The World Championships silver medalist in the mass start from Oberhof showed a good performance on the cross-country ski run, but in the end the 27-year-old couldn’t do better than 14th place.
Vetle Sjåstad Christiansen and Johannes Dale from Norway celebrated a double victory. The Frenchman Eric Perrot made it into third place behind them.
Particularly bitter from Ponsiluoma’s point of view: Despite a penalty in the first prone stage, he ran up to the final standing stage together with several competitors in the chasing group behind Christiansen, who was in the lead.
But then the Swede positioned himself on the wrong shooting mat and had to change places again. The mishap completely upset him.
Biathlon: “Perfect race” for Vetle Sjåstad Christiansen
“It’s a damn shame they didn’t show us which lane to shoot at,” Ponsiluoma lamented after the race. “I got stressed then, but I still should have done better than I did. Still, you can’t really blame me.”
Ponsiluoma said it was “disappointing” that the Swedish hosts didn’t get a single place on the podium in Östersund. But I did my best.”
Winner Christiansen, on the other hand, described the mass start to “SVT” as a “perfect race”. For him, “a dream has come true,” said the 30-year-old, who had to cope with the death of his grandmother during the Biathlon World Cup.