Reigning Olympic and World Champion Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania confirmed her fine form this season with the much coveted Kremlin Cup trophy after winning the event in Moscow.
A series of quality performances in each discipline by the Lithuanian winning machine saw her come out on top in a star-studded line-up. It was her speed in the combined run/shoot that made the difference as the 30-year-old stormed to victory. Germany’s Annika Schleu took silver and Donata Rimsaite of Russia brought home the bronze.
The day began with the fence where Rimsaite was inspired, claiming 18 wins on the pistes to go top of the leaderboard before the swim. Russian athletes were clearly enjoying performing in front of a partisan crowd as Olga Karmanchikova recorded the fastest time in the 200m freestyle swim.
Excellent horses ensured several athletes recorded a maximum 300 points in the ride with defending champion Yane Marques leading the charges. With just the combined to go, Rimsaite was still in the lead.
In the run/shoot, blistering speed and awesome accuracy saw Asadauskaite quickly eat up her 32 seconds deficit on Rimsaite to overtake the Russian on her way to victory.
26-year Annika Schleu was a surprise silver medallist but it was just reward after the third quickest time in the combined.
World Cup Final winner Oktawia Nowacka from Poland was fourth overall just ahead of Karmanchikova and USA’s Margaux Isaksen in fifth and sixth respectively.