Pokljuka – Sweden’s Martin Ponsiluoma won the men’s sprint at the Biathlon World Championships in Pokljuka on Friday in what was a surprising finish at the first individual event. Second and third places went to France’s Simon Desthieux and Emilen Jacquelin, respectively.
Ponsiluoma won the 10 km race with every target down, bagging his first world championships victory and first win in an individual event in his career.
“Amazing. I’ve only started to become aware of the feat now. But it was hard, I knew there were many competitors behind me so I really gave it all on the trail,” the 25-year-old said after the race.
Miha Dovžan achieved the best result among Slovenians, ranking 25th, his second best ranking so far in his career. Trailing behind Ponsiluoma by a minute and 14 seconds, the 27-year-old has a good starting point for the men’s pursuit event, which will be held on Sunday.
“I’m satisfied. Particularly with the shooting since I finally hit all of my shots,” said Dovžan, adding that he was looking forward to the race on Sunday.
Jakov Fak finished 35th, well below expectations. Fak, who is said to have the best chance to win a medal in the Slovenian team at this year’s World Championships, underperformed in the shooting rounds. He was not satisfied with his skiing either.
“I did my best, till the last inch, but I was too slow,” the 33-year-old summed up his performance.
Slovenia’s Rok Tršan and Klemen Bauer also qualified for the pursuit. Apart from Swedish and French biathletes, Norway’s competitors will be the first to set the tempo with Jacquelin defending last year’s title.
On Saturday, Pokljuka will host the women’s sprint.