Estonian biathlete Tuuli Tomingas participated in her first career mass start event in Oberhof, Germany, on Sunday, finishing 23rd in the 30-person race.
Tomingas started strong, passing the first two shooting rounds without a single miss, good enough for sixth place. The Estonian would have had a chance to get to second place with a perfect third round but she instead had to take two penalty laps. She missed another shot in the final round and took overall 23rd (3; +1:52.3) in her first career Super Sprint.
Tomingas told post-race: "Today's competition was relatively hard, but I also estimated that the pace of the top would be faster at first - it went well in that sense, I was able to keep up with them. Since [Oberhof's] trail profile is difficult to me and I feel it can be too much, it got difficult at the end."
"It was a special feeling to be among the best 30 in the world and compete in a mass start. To start in mass with the world's best has been my goal since I was young, but previous competitions have shown that it was going to happen at some point. I just needed a few succesful starts and it was not much of a surprise any more," Tomingas continued.
She was optimistic about next week's World Cup round in Antholz- Anterselva, Italy, where the trails are a better fit. "There are many trails in Anterselva that are suitable to me and I have always enjoyed competing there. I believe if I'm good in shooting, there could be a few good races there," Tomingas said.
French Julia Simon (40:11.1) took first place in Sunday's mass start, followed by Franziska Preuss (2; +3.9) and Hanna Oeberg (3; +11.7).
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste