World biathlon starts took part in the second “Legends Race” in Raubichi on 18 September. 34 athletes, who have already finished their careers, competed in three races at the event organized by the Belarusian World Cup winner and Olympic champion Darya Domracheva.
The line-up for the Legends Race 2016 was really star-studded: the biathletes who came to Raubichi included the winners of 6 Big Crystal Globes, 27 Olympic golds 85 World Champion titles!
Starting 10 am biathletes were giving out autographs to fans – the line stretched for several hundred meters.
Foreign guests of the sports festival praised the atmosphere and stalls with local cuisine. The “Belarusian Lounge” located near the entrance acquainted them with Belarusian culture, crafts and food.
Women mass start race began at 13.45.
It was dominated by German Kathrin Lang and French Marie-Laure Brunet. Lang was more precise at the last shooting and won the race, followed by Brunet and another German biathlete Simone Hauswald.
Kati Wilhelm, the first three-time Olympic champion, joined the race this year.
After the women’s race was over, men came to the start line.
Latvian biathlete Ilmars Britsis was leading till the last shooting that was extremely unfortunate for him and deprived the sportsman of the chance to rise up the podium. The race was won by Russian Sergey Tarasov. Christoph Sumann of Austria came second and Norwegian Frode Andresen was third.
Mixed relay was full of intense struggle in which the duo Brunet-Sumann finished a few seconds ahead of Andresen-Lang. The duo of Ilmars Britsis and Florence Baverel-Robert won the bronze.
The host of the event Darya Domracheva wasn’t present, but has sent her husband Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.
The Norwegian biathlete was modestly watching the mixed relay race and gladly signing autographs to his numerous fans from Belarus.
The money from ticket sales to Legends Race will go for a good cause: it will be donated to children’s hospital in Gomel region, where children affected by the Chernobyl accident are treated.
Find more pictures here.