IBU YJWCH Youth Relays to Norwegian Men and Russian Women
Sivert Guttorm Bakken of Norway secured the Gold medal for Norway in the Youth Men’s 3 X 7.5K relay this morning with a final 5-for-5 standing stage. He and teammates Joergen Brendengen Krogsaeter and Vebjoern Soerum had just 6 spares in their 55:05.4 victory. The Russian team of Ekaterina Sannikova, Anastasia Goreeva and Kristina Egorova, despite a penalty and seven spare rounds won the afternoon Youth Women’s 3 X 6K relay in 57:50.7.
Youth Men's Relay
Russia, with two penalties and nine spares won the Silver medal, 54.2 seconds back. Belarus won the Bronze medal, with eight spares, 1:41.6 back. Fourth went to Italy, 2:09.3 back with Switzerland in fifth, 2:24.5 back and Finland in sixth, 3:28.2 back.
Sunshine and Two Teams
The Youth relays today were treated to brilliant sunshine, very comfortable +8C temperature and a barely noticeable breeze. Twenty-three teams made their way fairly bunched through the first loop. Norway took the lead after the first prone, then were passed by Ukraine that led out of standing. By the first exchange, Norway had a three second lead. Russia then took over after the second prone, moving up 29 seconds from the exchange. Russia and Norway shot side-by-side in the second-leg standing stage; Norway cleaned first with a spare and Russia just behind. Belarus now had moved into third, but was 30 seconds back as they headed for the final exchange.
5-for-5 Standing Stage and Gold Medal
The final exchange saw Bakken and Khalili leave together, with Dzmitry Lazouski of Belarus in third, but 47.1 seconds back. These three teams would fight for the medals. The two shot together, both cleaned with no spares, but the Russian was a bit faster, leaving with a few seconds advantage, with Belarus still in third, but 1:17.9 back. By the final standing stage, Bakken was again next to Khalili; five finals shots for the Gold medal. Bakken cleaned in five shots, while the young Russian had two penalties. Norway had the Gold medal, with Russia Silver and Bronze for Belarus.
Anchor Leg Battle
Bakken commented on his battle with Khalili. “Before the last standing, I tried to catch up, but did not use too much power, so I felt like I could battle on the last loop. Then when the shooting went so well, I was real happy that I did not have to push so hard!”
The Norwegians are more than teammates for today. Krogsaeter commented, “We go to the same sports school in Lillehammer, train together and are best friends. It is pretty special to win a Gold medal together!’
Disappointment for Russia
A disappointed Khalili said, “I do not know what happened in the last shooting. I am very disappointed; we have a good team and I think we will fight with the Norwegians again in the future. I will think about this all year.”
The Belarusian team was elated at the finish, but not surprised. “We talked about a medal before the race, so we just did our job!”
Youth Women’s Relay
Behind Russia, Norway won the Silver medal, with just four spares, 12.9 seconds back. Italy claimed the Bronze medal, with one penalty and four spare rounds, 57.1 seconds back. Fourth went to Finland, 1:40.9 back, with Ukraine in fifth, 2:07.7 back and sixth to Switzerland, 3:41.8 back.
Two Teams and Penalties
Twenty-two teams on the start, but two teams moved quickly to the front. In the first leg, both Norway and Italy went 10-for-10 to move to the front of the pack. At the first exchange, the Norway held a 1.3 second lead at the exchange. Lardschneider took over for Italy and opened a gap by the prone stage, but a spare round left her with a 1.3 second lead over Goreeva of Russia, with Norway’s Marit Skogan 10 seconds back. Both Lardschneider and Goreeva had penalties, while Skogan cleaned to take a 9 second lead over Russia and Italy as they headed for the final exchange. Goreeva tagged Egorova in first, with Norway on her heels and Italy 18.3 seconds back.
Russia Pulls Away for Gold
These three teams were in control of the medal spots, but just one would win the Gold medal. Mari Wetterhus and Egorova cleaned prone quickly to go out 1-2, with Italy 54 seconds back. Egorova cleaned standing fast, with Wetterhus just behind her. Martina Vigna cleaned with five shots to keep Italy solidly in the Bronze medal spot. The battle on the tracks would be for Gold. Egorova proved to be the strongest on the tracks, bringing her team the Gold medal, with Norway in the Silver spot and Italy taking the Bronze medal.
Even with the early penalty, the Russians were confident. Egorova said, “We have a good team, so we were not worried…After the last shooting, I knew I had some power left for the last loop.”
Happy with Medals
The Norwegian women had one goal. “None of us did too well in the other competitions, so we were not thinking about a Gold medal, just a medal.”
Lardschneider, with the penalty, admitted it was not her best day. “Sometimes the shooting goes well and sometimes not…My teammates shot well today and that was important for us… I am just happy to get a medal.”