Domestic biathlon this year is categorically unlucky with the weather. Races should be held in 20-degree frost or a positive thaw, like here in Ryazan. All surfaces, including those at the entrances to the Almaz stadium, where the competitions were held, were covered with two layers: ice and water. It was possible to move only in small, concentrated steps. In addition, on the first day, unpleasant rain periodically splashed from the sky. But the gloomy and dull weather did not scare away the true fans of biathlon. Even so, a tournament of this level is held for the first time in the Central Federal District. Two hours by train from Moscow – and you are already in the stands. They, by the way, were filled to capacity, accommodating three thousand people every day, despite their compact size. Those who came hardly regretted their decision: a cheerful entertainment program awaited them, and the main performers – biathletes – did not disappoint. Fortunately, the organizers worked responsibly, providing athletes with high-quality snow, even taking into account weather conditions.
The third stage of the Commonwealth Cup, designed to some extent to replace the World Cup, from which the Belarusians and I were excluded, was held with elements of a New Year’s show. On the first day, men and women ran a super sprint: the usual 7.5 km, but with four shooting lines. In the second, there were large mass departures.
And already the first results were a surprise. In the men’s supersprint, the three winners were made up of Belarusians. Moreover, the winner was not the leader of the Belarusian team Anton Smolsky (he is second), but Ivan Tulatin, little known to the general public.
The women’s supersprint was also won by Belarusian Dinara Alimbekova. She also won the mass start, scoring a double in Ryazan. But on the men, the Russians took revenge with the forces of Roman Eremin.