Svendsen and Henkel shine in Oslo

Sun, 05 Feb 15:38:00 2012

Emil Hegle Svendsen got his tactics spot on to finally claim his and Norway’s first win of the Holmenkollen World Cup meeting at the last possible opportunity in the men's 15 kilometre mass start.

Emil Hegle Svendsen Nove Mesto 2012 Sprint - 0

The double Olympic champion has been on form in his home country, opening the Norwegian World Cup leg with third in the men’s 10km sprint on Thursday.

He moved up one place to second two days later in the men’s 12.5km pursuit and went one better again 24 hours later finally topping the podium in the 15km mass start.

With the lead changing hands throughout Svendsen and German Andreas Birnbacher appeared as the two front runners for victory after the fourth and final shoot.

And, despite picking up two penalties as Birnbacher shot perfectly, Svendsen was neck and neck with the German in the latter stages, stalking him prior to the last corner.

And when the 26-year-old turned on the afterburners to make his move there was no way back for Birnbacher with Svendsen roaring home, much to the delight of the Norwegian crowd.

Svendsen and Henkel shine in Oslo

Svendsen crossed the finishing line in 40:44.1 with Birnbacher 6.3 seconds behind and Russian Evgeniy Garanichev completing a good personal weekend with third.

With Frenchman Martin Fourcade back in fifth Svendsen’s lead at the top of the overall World Cup rankings goes from one point to 21 with his overall total standing at 681.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Andrea Henkel was a picture of consistency in both ski and shoot as she took her first World Cup win of the season.

With World Cup leader Magdalena Neuner opting out of the women’s 12.5 kilometre mass start, the field was wide open with Henkel making the most of her fellow German’s absence.

Henkel, who won double gold at the Olympics in 2002, made just one mistake in the range. That coming in the first set of five, and she showed great pace on snow to come home first.

She clocked a winning time of 38 minutes and 1.2 seconds after breaking clear of the field with Belarusian Darya Domracheva recovering from four penalties to take silver.

Domracheva showed great speed on her skis to clock 38:27.8, while in stark contrast, Teja Gregorin was perfect in the range but had to settle for bronze just over half a second further behind.

Neuner, despite opting out, still leads the overall World Cup rankings but her lead is now just 21 points with Domracheva taking her total to 795 courtesy of second place.

Sportsbeat / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account