Czech tennis player Lucie Safarova is the newest member of Empire Tennis Academy Trnava. Lucie is the 2015 Roland Garros Ladies Singles finalist, four times Grand Slam Doubles Winner with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, current no. 2 in WTA Doubles ranking (as of February 13th) and multiple Fed Cup winner. A small introductory press conference to the media was held on February 13th at Hotel Empire in Trnava.
The 6th edition of IBU Cup 2016/2017 biathlon season took place in Osrblie, Slovakia. I had a chance to attend the Saturday’s pursuit competitions. In women’s pursuit, the respectable home crowd cheered for Terezia Poliakova (the only Slovak biathlete in the line up) as well as the strong German and Russian squads. Daria Virolaynen of Russia won the race with two penalty loops. Czech biathlete Lea Johanidesova finished second with clean shooting. Denise Herrmann of Germany secured the third place despite five penalty loops. In men’s competiton, all eyes were on Norwegian biathlete Tarjei Boe, who chose Osrblie as his first venue of 2016/2017 season, as well as Matej Kazar, the only Slovak in the line up. Boe’s teammate Kristoffer Skjelvik won the race with clean shooting. Boe finished second, edged out Timur Makhambetov of Russia on the finish line. Kazar improved his starting position by four ranks and finished on 6th place.
It was a beautiful winter morning on December 29th 2016 and I set out to shoot 1st round of Viessmann Biathlon Cup in Osrblie. More than 80 biathletes in 11 categories competed in pursuit. Although the weather was beautiful, the shooting conditions were difficult because the wind was constantly changing. My main focus was on Miroslav Pavlak (u19, Member of Stars For Stars), Veronika Machyniakova (u21) as well as members of Slovak biathlon team Jana Gerekova, Tomas Hasilla and Matej Kazar.
Just before the Christmas I had the opportunity to attend and photograph three races (women’s sprint on Friday and both men’s and women’s pursuit on Saturday) of the third edition of 2016/2017 IBU Biathlon World Cup in Nove Mesto Na Morave. Vysocina Arena became the true heart of biathlon world with the total attendance of more than 130 000 spectators. Martin Fourcade dominated all three races among men. Women’s races saw three different winners – Tatiana Akimova (sprint), Anais Chevalier (pursuit) and Gabriela Koukalova (mass start).