Slovak biathletes surprise in women’s relay

Though they were not considered favourites, Slovak biathletes fought bravely for medal positions but ended fifth.

Ivona Fialková of Slovakia crosses the finish line.Ivona Fialková of Slovakia crosses the finish line.(Source: SITA)

Slovakia’s female biathletes were unexpectedly in contention for the medals at February 22 Women’s 4x6km Relay at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.

Eventually, Paulína Fialková, Anastasiya Kuzmina, Terézia Poliaková and Ivona Fialková ended fifth, after completing the race in 1:12:41.8, 38.4 seconds behind the winners from Belarus.

Reset after mixed relay

The first Slovak on the track was Paulína Fialková, who had a bad shoot on February 20, thwarting the hopes of the Slovak Olympic mixed team of biathletes.

Her performance in the women’s relay was much better, as she needed only one replacement charge in 10 shootings, and finished her part of the race in 3rd position starting from 17th place.

“This race was important for me in the way that I decided to run and manage it,” Fialková said, as quoted by the Sme daily. “I told myself before the start that regardless of what happened this would be the same as any other race.”

She admitted she was afraid before the first shot, but her success helped her proceed.

“I’m proud of myself and all Slovaks for their heart and their forgiveness of my failure,” Fialková added, as quoted by Sme.

Kuzmina praises teammates

Kuzmina was not so lucky as she missed more targets and had to take a penalty round. However, she praised the performance of the rest of her teammates.

“The girls are great at shooting,” Kuzmina said after her run, as quoted by Sme, adding that she feels sorry for her mistakes.

Despite the fact that she had to take a penalty round, she managed to pass on the baton in 3rd position thanks to her skiing performance.

“I was being a perfectionist and got the timing wrong for shooting,” Kuzmina commented, as quoted by Sme. “I wanted to shoot slowly and more carefully into the wind, but I should have taken a risk and shot as fast as possible. I would probably have hit more targets.”

She considers fifth place a success and a positive signal for Slovak biathlon in the future.

The other two biathletes in the team, Poliaková and Ivona Fialková, also had a great performance despite their less promising statistics from the previous Olympic races.

Read also:Skier Vlhová missed the medal by 0.65 seconds

Read also:Slovak mixed relay was withdrawn from competition

Read also:PyeongChang is Kuzmina's last Olympics

Read also:UPDATED: Slovakia’s Kuzmina wins Olympic gold

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