Russia endured a third medal-free event at the World Biathlon Championships on Saturday, after none of its athletes finished higher than seventh in the women’s sprint.
German double Olympic gold medalist Magdalene Neuner won by 15.2 seconds from Belarusian athlete Darya Domracheva, with Ukraine’s Vita Semerenko in third, 37.6 seconds behind.
The highest-placed Russian was Svetlana Sleptsova in seventh, one minute 3.5 seconds off Neuner’s time, with Olga Vilukhina a second further back in eighth.
Olga Zaitseva came in 16th, 1.45 off the pace, with Anna Bogaly-Titovets the final Russian finisher in 41st, 2.50 behind Neuner.
Vilukhina said that the decaying track posed problems for her.
“I feel good, but judging by how far I was behind, I can definitely say that physical condition doesn’t suit this track,” she said.
She added that she wanted to up her game for Sunday’s pursuit.
“I will try to shoot well tomorrow, as I’ve done in two races so far, and I’ll try to run better regardless.”
Earlier in the day, none of the Russian men troubled the leaders in the sprint, with the best finisher Evgeny Garanichev in 12th, 1.39 behind French winner Martin Foucaude.
Russia finished fifth in the opening mixed relay on Thursday, which was won by Norway, with Slovenia second and Germany third, following a controversial finish involving a malfunctioning target and unexpected time penalties.
Sunday will see both the men’s and women’s pursuit races. The championships run through March 11.