First Russian Biathlon Cup in Krasnaya Polyana – difficult track and best shooting range
February 9, 2012
The 2012 Russian Biathlon Cup, the first competitions at Gazprom’s Biathlon and Ski Complex (Laura) were officially opened yesterday in Krasnaya Polyana, Psekhako Ridge. The new Olympic venue is located at the altitude of 1,450 to 1,600 meters and can accommodate 9,600 spectators. It is one of the world’s largest facilities meeting the highest international standards.
Taking part in the festive ceremony dedicated to launching sports facilities of the Complex were Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Valery Golubev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Vitaly Mutko, Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy and other officials.
Opening the competitions, Dmitry Kozak thanked all the people involved in the construction for the successful work.
Valery Golubev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee wished Russian sportsmen to be victorious.
Vitaly Mutko, Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy noted that the Complex would not only be a first-class venue for competitions, but also a new training base for national teams, the only one situated in the medium-height mountains.
On the same day first sportsmen entered the biathlon tracks of the Complex. Only three out of 37 women participating in the 7.5 kilometer sprint race would climb the victory podium. All the experts noted that the Sochi track was difficult with plenty of slopes, turns and elevation differences reaching 60 meters. The shooting range, however, is among the best ones by its shooting conditions.
An hour and a half later the guests and spectators gathered in the Complex honored the first winners – the gold was taken by 24 year-old Darya Novikova from the Tyumen Oblast, Larisa Kuznetsova was in the second place and Anna Kunaeva got the bronze medal.
Darya Novikova shared her opinion of the new complex, where our sportsmen had settled. “I actually liked the track. It is hard, but at the same time good to run on. I think it is the most difficult track of all I’ve ever known. The shooting range was good. There was no wind and all the conditions were created for accurate and fast shooting. I think our sportsmen will do well at the Olympic Games. Of course, I hope to be there as well. The accommodation is good, we are staying at the Olympic Village. The most important thing here is the beautiful environment and a lot of sunshine.”
The test competitions in biathlon will be continued with a male sprint race and a pursuit race. Starting from February 13 new competitions will begin – the Russian Cup stages in Nordic combined skiing and ski racing. From March 4 to 12 the Complex will host the Russian Paralympics Championship in ski racing and biathlon.