IBU YJWCH Competitions Start on Wednesday; Seven Straight Days
Wednesday is the first of seven straight days of competitions at the 2017 IBU Youth/ Junior World Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia. The Opening Ceremonies were held last night in the main square in Brezno, 15 km from this small village and venue, setting the stage for the biggest event of the year for the biathlon stars of tomorrow.
Opening Ceremonies: 48 Medals on the Line
The parade of nations, pageantry and fireworks were a good opportunity for all the athletes to relax and smile a bit before the intense competition program starts. Two competitions will be conducted each day for the next week, with Youth and Junior competitions on alternating days, except next Sunday with all of the pursuit competitions. The program includes individuals, sprints, pursuits and relays. Forty-eight medals will be awarded over the next week.
Favorites: Medalists and More
The list of names is quite large, but here are a few of the favorites. Juliane Fruehwirt of Germany and Krystyna Dmytrenko of Ukraine are among the top Youth women, Fruehwirt was the YOG sprint Gold medalist, while Dmytrenko won the pursuit Gold in Lillehammer. Emilien Claude of France, YOG sprint Gold medalist looks to be among the top Youth men.
The Junior category is packed with talent, including the Kirill Streltsov and Nikita Porshnev of Russia, numbers 1 and 4 in the Junior Cup Total Score; Ukrainians Anton Dudchenko and Vitaliy Trush are just behind Streltsov in the Total Score. There is also the Czech duo of Milan Zemlicka and Ondrej Santora of Czech Republic who went 1-2 in the recent JOECH pursuit. Sure to chase this elite group is 2016 YJWCH medalist David Zobel of Germany. The Junior women is just as packed with Russia’s Ekaterina Moshkova who leads the Total Score; Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic, 2016 YJWCH medalist and double winner at the 2017 JOECH. Myrtille Begue and Julia Simon of France, as well as Julia Schweiger of Austria, who won two medals last year at the YJWCH, are sure to challenge for the podium in the coming week. In the closing relays, as always the teams to watch are Russia, Germany, Norway, France and Czech Republic.
The Youth individuals kick off the week tomorrow with the Youth Men 12.5K at 11:00 and the Youth Women 12.5K at 14:00 CET. Training today was held in warm wet conditions which are also in the forecast for at least tomorrow.
The 2017 IBU YJWCH schedule follows:
February 22 11:00 Youth Men 12.5K
14:00 Youth Women 10K
February 23 11:00 Junior Men 15K
14:00 Junior Women 12.5K
February 24 11:00 Youth Men 7.5K sprint
14:00 Youth Women 6K sprint
February 25 11:00 Junior Men 10K sprint
14:00 Junior Women 7.5K sprint
February 26 11:00 Youth Men 10K pursuit
12:00 Junior Men 12.5K pursuit
14:15 Junior Women 10K pursuit
15:20 Youth Women 7.5K pursuit
February 27 11:00 Youth Women relay
13:45 Youth Men relay
February 28 11:00 Junior Men relay
14:00 Junior Women relay