Perfect race gives Gabriela Soukalova a 2nd win in Ruhpolding !

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Gabriela Soukalova of Czech Republic started first and remained in that  position for the whole competition, winning for the second time this week in Ruhpolding. She hit every target while covering the 10K in 30:39.8, 9.7 seconds ahead of Norway’s Tora Berger, with one penalty. Third, 38.9 seconds back was Kaisa Mäkäräinen, with three penalties. Fourth in a personal best was Germany’s Franziska Preuss, with one penalty, 44.7 seconds back. Veronika Vitkova of Czech Republic finished fifth; 45.3 seconds back also with one penalty.

Another calm day on the shooting range and Soukalova was as calm as the wind flags.In the lead from the start, she calmly cleaned the two prone stages and followed that up with a clean standing stage. By this point, she had a 25 second lead over Hildebrand who was also clean. Just behind her, Berger was putting together a solid day with just a single penalty. Mäkäräinen had two penalties but was getting closer to the top three, just 8 seconds behind Berger as they came to the final standing stage.

Soukalova cleaned the final standing stage with ease, actually hitting three of the shots inside the prone ring. That secured the victory as the others battled for the remaining two podium spots. Berger and Vitkova both cleaned, putting them in second and third positions as they headed for the final 2K loop, 27 and 50 seconds back. Mäkäräinen was another 15 seconds back in sixth position, but was pushing for the podium. By the final split time, she had moved into third and held that through the finish.

Soukalova was not as confident before the competition as she seemed during it. « Before the start, I was hoping to be in the top five. It was stressful in the third loop, I was getting tired and tried to think about the chance to get a clean shooting. That was my one tactic. » She admitted that feeling is very important on competition days. « The most important thing is how you feel before the compétitions, if you feel good and are fit, then usually it goes well. » As for wearing the Yellow Bib for all but one competition this season, she said, « I am trying to race with Yellow just like a regular number and not think about it too much. »

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