The big surprise in the 20 km individual race in the South Tyrol Arena of Antholz was Anton Babikov from Russia.
After he learned that he was not nominated by his federation for the Olympics in Beijing 2022, he really vented his frustration in the race, hit all 20 targets and let himself be celebrated at the finish line after all his competitors had finished with the last one.
After a long dry spell, the Russian once again wins a biathlon World Cup.
Babikov was the only starter in the field who came through with a flawless shooting performance. With 9.7 seconds he wins ahead of Tarjei Boe from Norway, who with his second place also wins the small crystal globe in the individual event, there are no more individual races to come.
Said Karimulla Khalili came in third.
Equally surprising was the fifteenth place of Campbell Wright from New Zealand, who ran a spirited race and could qualify for the mass start with this placing.
Overall World Cup leader Quentin Fillon Maillet finished a disappointing 20th with five penalty minutes for him.
With ranks four, five, six, seven and eight Johannes Thingnes Boe, Sturla Holm Laegreid, Simon Desthieux, Alexander Loginov and Fabien Claude all finished among the TOP 10.
Vetle Christiansen finished 13th with 4 penalty minutes.
Best DSV athlete was Benedikt Doll who finished the race in twelfth place.
Results 20 km men individual, Antholz:
1. Anton Babikov, RUS 49.46,8 Min.
2. Tarjei Boe, NOR + 9,7 Sek.
3. Said Karimulla Khalili, RUS + 48,5 Sek.
4. Johannes Thingnes Boe, NOR + 50,5 Sek.
5. Sturla Holm Laegreid, NOR + 1.32,9 Min.
6 Simon Desthieux, FRA + 2.08.2 Min.
7. Alexander Loginov, RUS + 2.16,3 Min.
8. Fabien Claude, FRA + 2.22,4 Min.
Statement Anton Babikov:" I wanted to show it to everyone today, was very motivated and very disappointed after not being nominated for the Olympics.
This victory is good for my soul, and I'm incredibly happy."
Statement Tarjei Boe:" I am more than satisfied with my performance today.
Of course it hurts to be given two minutes, but it hurts even more to finish second with a gap of 9.7 seconds.
However, I am very happy to have won the discipline ball in singles."
Statement Quentin Fillon Maillet:" This was absolutely not my day today and I am very disappointed with my placing today."
Text: Helmut Hanus
Pictures: K. Voigt Fotografie