Medals and New Champions At the IBU Junior OECH in Snowy Pokljuka
The well known Slovenian venue Pokljuka had the honor to host over 200 junior athletes for the 2018 IBU Junior Open European Championships.
Fresh European champions were crowned in the eight competitions with several athletes making their ever-first podium appearance.
Athletes, coaches and the wax technicians arrived Pokljuka for two sunny training days. Smiles and enjoyment were spreading all over the Slovenian biathlon stadium.
The competition week started with two exciting relays: Single Mixed Relay and Mixed relay, with six different nations on the podium.
Finland's Jenni Keränen and Jaakko Ranta took the first JOECH title in Pokljuka by winning the Single Mixed Relay, silver medal for the home favorites Urska Poje and Anton Vidmar, and third place was crowned to Belarusians Volha Haurylkina and Dzmitry Lazouski .
Jakov Fak who was preparing for the Olympics, took time to congratulate Jenni Keränen and Jaakko Ranta:
In the second competition on the first day, Russia confidently won the Mixed Relay, Italy won the battle over second place over Poland, who finished third.
The two Individual competitions followed. With heavy snow and windy conditions the athletes were tested to the max.
Russia's Said Karimulla Khalili demonstrated great shooting skill and suburb skiing that brought him victory and the Gold medal in the Individual competition. His teammate Vasilii Tomshin won the Silver medal and Czech Republic's Vitezslav Hornig took the Bronze medal.
The two Russian teammates commented after the prize ceremony:
LIVE: winners of men's Individual https://t.co/Q65nuyZ7T7— IBU Junior Cup (@IBU_Junior) February 1, 2018
On the women's side Austria's Tamara Steiner won her first-ever competition while Switzerland's Amy Baserga made her first-ever appearance on the podium in second place. Russia's IBU Cup regular athlete Valeriia Vasnetcova finished third.
After a rest day, around one meter of snow fell at Pokljuka. Athletes and coaches took to the woods to play in the snow:
When the competitions restarted, it was time for the sprints.
Russia's Igor Malinovskii, one of the most titles athletes in the IBU Junior Cup circuit won the gold medal in the men's sprint. His teammate Said Karimulla Khalili finished second with Silver and Ukraine's Bogdan Tsymbal took the Bronze medal.
Igor Malinovskii: "My mood today was not the best, but during zeroing I played some good music and that helped me. I'm really happy with my race, Khalili was 3-4 seconds in front of me at the last shooting, but at the last uphills I managed to take the win" #IBUJunior #JOECH18 pic.twitter.com/yz6jWtkk8W— IBU Junior Cup (@IBU_Junior) February 3, 2018
the women's competition again saw two Russians at the top of the podium. Valeriia Vasnetcova won the Gold medal while Polina Shevnina took the Silver and France's Sophie Chauveau secured the Bronze medal.
Sophie Chauveau: "I felt very good on the track to day, better than at the Individual competition. It was difficult conditions, but I'm satisfied with my result. I hope to climb in tomorrow's pursuit" #IBUJunior #JOECH18 pic.twitter.com/3egZxBnrNw— IBU Junior Cup (@IBU_Junior) February 3, 2018
Russian athletes won both pursuits on the final competition day.
With Igor Malinovskii once again on top of the podium, Ukraine's Bogdan Tsymbal managed to climb from third to second place. France's Martin Perrillat Bottonet showed great speed on the tracks that carried him to third place.
Young Russian Polina Shecnina took the first individual win and Gold medal of her career in the women's pursuit, followed by Sweden's Elvira Karin Oeberg who climbed from ninth place to claim the Silver medal. France's Sophie Chauveau took finished third with another Bronze medal.
Canadian Coach Helene Joergensen wore a GoPro to share a side of biathlon few people ever see, check out the video below:
EXCLUSIVE: Canadian (@biathloncanada) coach Helene Joergensen wore a GoPro to share a side of biathlon you probably haven't seen before – The POV of a coach.— IBU Junior Cup (@IBU_Junior) February 4, 2018
Enjoy 🎥#IBUJunior #JOECH18 #biathlon pic.twitter.com/GNUNeOhNl3