Austrian athletes cut no trees at the season opener in Kontiolahti, Finland, on Wednesday. Lisa Hauser was the best Austrian in the individual race over 15 km, with Swede Hanna Oberg finishing 32nd. Three shooting errors prevented the Tyrolean from achieving the best result. Ranked just behind Hauser, Danja Zdok fared better on the shooting range. Although Carinthian couldn’t keep up with the cross-country ski race, she missed a perfect start by just one shot.
Zdok kept his top shooters going until the last four target practice sessions in the first race of the season in arctic and light snowfall Finland. The 28-year-old only missed a shot in the final standing stage, conceding a minute penalty and missing out on a potential top-20 spot. So Zdok had to give way to teammate Hauser, who had better skating ability, as the Austrian’s favorite.
With errors on the second and third shoot, Hauser missed an early season lead opportunity. The world champion at the start of 2021 lost a total of 3:59.8 minutes to winner Oberg, but stayed 6.8 ahead of teammate Zdok. The rest of the Austrians also made a lot of mistakes when shooting. Julia Schweiger was 50th with four penalties, Katarina Komatz (ex-Innerhofer) was 59th with five penalties and Anna Juppe was 69th after four penalties.
Öberg is untouchable on the road
At the summit, Oberg was able to celebrate her seventh World Cup victory – her second in an individual competition – and thus a successful start to the winter season. The 27-year-old Swede was in a class of her own on the track, beating Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrivold by 36.5 seconds despite a missed shot in the final standing stage. Italy’s Lisa Vituzzi came in third place, with one penalty, 39.7 seconds behind the winner.
Already on Thursday (1.35 pm, live on ORF1) the women will continue in the relay competition at a distance of 4 x 6 km. Ahead, the men’s relay over 4 x 7.5 km is run in the program in Kontiolahti (10.55 am, live on ORF1).
World Cup in Kontiolahti
“General writer. Twitter fanatic. Award-winning alcohol practitioner. Pop culture guru.”