The Open European Biathlon Championship has started in the Polish ski resort of Duszniki-Zdroj. The gold medal in the 15 km race was won by the owner of the track Monika Hojnisch – 45.17.1 (1).
Due to the high speed in the last kilometers of the distance, Hojnisch outpaced the Ukrainian Anastasia Merkushina (0; 2.9). The bronze medalist was the Russian woman Larisa Kuklina (1; 15.5).
Estonian biathlete Johanna Taliharm started the individual race successfully. After cleanly passing two firing lines, the Estonian biathlete took second place, 20 seconds behind Kuklina.
Unfortunately, in the second half of the distance, Johanna began to miss penalty minutes. After the third firing line, she dropped to fifth place, 47 seconds behind Merkushina.
In the final standing shooting, Talihärm earned another 3 minutes of penalty and eventually fell to 26th place among 120 participants (4; 4.00.4).
Why is the European Championship held? The European Biathlon Championship is quoted much lower than the World Cup stages. Leading powers send either promising young people or veterans who do not make it into the base.
The countries of the second echelon often put up leading squads for the European Championship in the hope of earning high places, which will provide an opportunity to receive funding at home. True, it is not very expedient to send them to Poland these days.
In mid-February, the World Championship will take place in Slovenian Pokljuka at an altitude of 1,500 meters. At the European Championships, shooting skiers sort things out at three times lower height. It makes no sense to descend from the mountains on the eve of the main start of the year.