World Championships

Roeiseland holds off Dunklee and windy conditions to become sprint world champion

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Marte Olsbu Roeiseland of Norway competes during the Women 7.5 km Sprint Competition at the IBU World Championships Biathlon Antholz-Anterselva on February 14, 2020 in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy

Image credit: Getty Images

ByPete Sharland
14/02/2020 at 14:26 | Updated 14/02/2020 at 15:51

Norway’s Marte Olsbu Roeiseland held off a spirited performance from American Susan Dunklee to lift the sprint world title on Friday.

29-year-old Roeiseland missed once on her second shoot but skied brilliantly to beat off her rivals and seal victory.

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She dealt well with extremely tricky conditions, with the fierce wind playing havoc with most of the competitors shooting.

“I don’t know what to feel this is a dream that I have had for a really long time now.” Roeiseland, who had won four team golds at the World Championships before finally lifting her first individual medal.

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“This was my main goal this season. I said it out loud many times and I didn’t race in Annecy because of the world championships here,

And there were a lot of Norwegian people who thought that was really stupid because I gave up the yellow bib but I know it was right and to get the gold today means a lot to me

“It was tough condition on ski because it was a bit icy and it was a bit difficult in the stadium and at the range because the wind was blowing to the left and the right.”

Surprisingly her biggest challenge came from 34-year-old Dunklee, who previously had only finished in the top 10 in the sprint world championships on one occasion.

Dunklee shot flawlessly but was unable to keep the pace with the Norwegian and in the end took an admirable silver whilst bronze went to Lucie Charvatova of the Czech Republic.

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Italian duo Lisa Vittozzi and World Cup leader Dorothea Wierer, who took over the yellow bib when Roeiseland skipped Annecy, were two of the pre-face favourites but both missed twice and had to settle for sixth and seventh respectively.

“Today it was really, really hard, the wind was changing really fast,” Wierer said afterwards of the conditions.

“I didn’t know if I should shoot or not, so I was shooting really slow and of course 1+1 miss isn’t the best but even at the track I felt really strange today, I wasn’t able to stand on my skis it was really hard.”

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