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Is Domracheva ready for 2017-2018 biathlon season?

In what mood is the Belarusian biathlon team now, ahead of the biathlon season 2017/2018?

Östersund will host the first World Cup on November 26. Belarus biathlon team will start official training there on November 24. The biathlon season will open with two mixed relay races. Next up are individual races, sprints and the pursuit. 

Belarus took part in the Norway Open Cup and the results are quite satisfying: Irina Krivko and Nadezhda Skardino took podium places having coped with shooting perfectly.

However, on the other side, Belarus’ star Darya Domracheva did not impress: she took only 7th place (with one penalty).

Belarus coach Fyodor Svoboda confirmed this is still a satisfying result: "We are very satisfied with the fact that we finally won podium places. I hope that the pre-start tension and doubts have left giving way to conviction that the preparation for the Olympic season was normal. Now we can start the World Cup without excessive stress."

The cons

Firstly, Skardino, and Krivko looked so good on the track that it caused concern. After all, everyone knows that Skardino gains shape quickly and her constant concern is to keep fighting conditions until February-March. The same goes for Krivko, who holds her best races in January.

It seems that Pisareva, after working in the gym, became not only more powerful, but also more massive, heavier. Thirdly, Anna Sola disappointed everyone with all her five penalties.

Fourth, Domracheva did not make it into top three or top five. What happened to DaDo?

On the men's side, unconvincing performance led to the best Belarusian becoming only 20th (Abashev). This is despite accurate shooting. Guys who worked with Vasily Bolshakov and Nikolai Lopukhov in the first team failed: Bocharnikov 35th, Eletnov 56th, Chepelin 75th...

Why Domracheva failed

Why did Domracheva fail at the pre-season race in Norway? There can be three explanations. First: bad work of servicemen.

Second: Domracheva was affected by the recent high mountain training in Italy. Soon she may adapt and will find her tempo.

Third: Darya just trained in a competitive mode, not hurrying up and not forcing anything.

Fyodor Svoboda also commented on Darya's performance: "Do not worry: Domracheva is fine! Darya's husband Ole Einar Bjørndalen also said on the eve of the competitions in Sjusjøen: "It's a bit early to start on Saturday after the high-altitude training. It's not very smart now to overdo with loads."

Nadezhda Skardino, Belarusian biathlete, in Sjusjøen