Marketa Davidova and Sverre Dahlen Aspenes Take Junior Pursuit Gold Medals
Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic won the junior women's pursuit Gold medal at the IBU YJWCH, with four penalties in 32:52.6. Later in the day, Sverre Dahlen Aspenes of Norway won the last Gold medal at the 2018 YJWCH in the junior men’s pursuit. The Norwegian was the only athlete of the day to shoot clean, finishing in 34:16.7
Junior Women’s Pursuit
Kamila Zuk of Poland won the Silver medal despite six penalties, 28.1 seconds back. France’s Myrtille Begue matched her start number and finished third, taking the Bronze medal with three penalties, 53.8 behind.
Urska Poje of Slovenia lost a podium spot on the last lap and finished fourth with one penalty, 1:07.3 back. Fifth went to Russia’s Valeria Vasnetcova with four penalties, 1:31.5 behind. Chloe Levins of USA took sixth place with two misses, 1:51.4 back.
The junior women’s pursuit continued the last competition day at this year's Championships. Weather conditions in the afternoon stayed almost the same as the morning with the temperature rising to -4C. Having a 26 second lead at the start, Zuk held the first position after prone despite one penalty. Davidova, also with a penalty, followed her in 17.3 seconds, while clean-shooting Myrtille Begue kept the third position with a 46.5 seconds gap. Second shooting saw the changes in the standings; the double Gold medalist from Poland had to go for two penalty loops, dropping to second with a 40.9 seconds gap to Davidova, who was accurate. Poje also shot clean to move to third, 1:10.7 behind, while the young French athlete with one penalty followed her two seconds later.
In the first standing Davidova started with a mistake, adding one more miss on the last shot. While she was on the penalty loop, Zuk had a chance tor regain the lead. However, Zuk had even more penalties than Davidova and with six total penalties dropping her to fifth. Unlike her rivals, Poje shot fast and clean, moving into the second position with 36.2 seconds to first, Begue followed her in third with another penlalty.
The last standing shooting saw one more mistake from Davidova, which still allowed her to leave with a solid lead. While Poje and Begue missed once, Zuk finally shot clean and left the stadium in second. Leaving the shooting range, the Slovenian was third with a 20 second lead over the Begue, who with a fast last loop overtook Poje to take the Bronze medal.
Davidova admitted that she did not think about the win before the competition. “I was really tired and I just hoped for a good shooting which could give me a good place.” With her usual wide smile on the face, she added, “When I missed with a first shot at the last standing, I had a hope that it was my last mistake!”
Despite her tenth place, Polina Shevnina of Russia won the IBU Junior Cup Women'sPursuit Score, while France’s Lou Jeanmonnot Laurent took the Crystal Globe in the IBU Junior Cup Women's Total Score.
Junior Men’s Pursuit
Behind Aspenes, the Silver medal went to Martin Perrillat Bottonet of France who matched his start number and finished second with one penalty, 1:21.1 behind. Another Norwegian Johannes Dale took the last medal of these Championships with four penalties, 1:46.4 back.
Igor Malinovskii of Russia finishedfourth with three penalties, 2:13.2 behind. By finishing fourth, Malinovskii overcame Perrillat by one point in the men’s IBU Junior Men's Pursuit Score, taking the small globe in this discipline. Fifth place went to bib 1 Vasilii Tomshin with five penalties, 2:18.9 back, while another Russian Said Karimulla Khalili moved from 27th at the start to the sixth at the finish with a single penalty, 2:37.6 behind.
Lost the Lead
Starting the competition with a 21 second lead over the rivals, Tomshin lost it after the first prone, when he had to go for a penalty loop, letting the accurate Aspenes to top the standings. Tomshin followed the Norwegian 1.9 seconds behind, while clean-shooting Dale and Perrillat left in third and fourth. For the second prone, the two Norwegians came together, matching each other with perfect shooting, they left .5 seconds apart. Tomshin also hit all targets, following them in 7 seconds.
Increasing their lead, but staying together, the Norwegians entered the first standing stage side by side. While Dale on lane 1 missed two times, Aspenes was perfect and left with a 15.4 second advantage over clean-shooting Tomshin. Perrillat missed once and left in third, 41.2 seconds behind. For the final standing, Aspenes came with a confident 20 second lead. He stayed calm and hit all the targets leaving behind Tomshin who missed four times, losing all chances for the medal. While Dale went for two penalty loops, Perrillat cleaned the final standing, leaving the Norwegian far behind. Moreover, with the second place, Perrillat secured a win in the IBU Junior Cup Men's Total Score.
Aspenes was extremely happy not only for the Gold medal but also for his shooting. “I have never shot 20 out of 20 before; that was the first time. And to do it here, today, was pretty amazing. I have no idea how I managed to do it; I just was really calm and stayed focused.”