First World Cup win for France's Anais Chevalier
An emotional Anais Chevalier could hardly believe she had claimed her first ever World Cup biathlon victory, after holding off the challenge of Italy’s Dorothea Wierer to win the women’s 10km pursuit in Nove Mesto.
The 23-year-old from France started the race four seconds behind Tatiana Akimova, of Russia, who won Friday’s sprint in the Czech Republic, and pulled away after the third shooting range for her maiden World Cup win.
Wierer was 9.5 seconds back in second place, having missed two targets to Chevalier’s one, while Akimova was 19.4 seconds off the pace in third.
“I was nervous in my first shooting, that's why I missed one, but then I focused and it went my way,” said Chevalier.
“I did not expect this when I came here; it's amazing to win here in front of so many people.
“In the last 100m, I was scared Doro[thea] could catch me, but then I enjoyed every moment until the end.
“I want to dedicate this win to my boyfriend and my family. It's incredible; I've been crying until I got in here I think.”
Laura Dahlmeier, of Germany, still leads the overall standings on 356 points after finishing in seventh, while second-placed Kaisa Makarainen took her tally to 278.
The speedy Wierer had put the hammer down and looked to close the gap during her final loop, but she was pleased with her finish given she had some difficulty shooting.
She said: “It was good because I was only 23 seconds behind at the start and not a minute or more like in the other pursuits this season.
“It [shooting] was not so difficult today, but I had a frozen finger so it was not easy to shoot for me.”