Sweden and Russia Take Gold Medals in Youth Relays at IBU YJWCH
Sweden with Amanda Lindstroem, Ella Halvarsson, and Elvira Oeberg took the IBU YJWCH Gold medal in an exciting youth women’s relay. On their way to a win, they used only six spares, finishing in 1:03:19.8. In the youth men’s relay Russian team of Denis Tashtimerov, Andrei Viukhin, Mikhail Pervushin was unchallenged in their win despite two penalties and eight spares in 1:04:51.1.
Youth Women’s Relay
The Silver medal went to Finland with two penalties and ten spares; they had the same time, missing the Gold medal by only a few centimeters. Norway, with also two penalty loops and eight spare rounds, took the Bronze medal, 37.0 seconds behind.
A sunny but cold day with the temperature around -15C, greeted 21 teams at Tehvandi stadium for the youth women’s relay. As in previous days, wind gusts at the shooting range were a challenge for the young athletes who used many spare rounds during the competition.
Penalties For Leaders
With a good speed on the track and a single spare at each stage, Finland took the lead at the first exchange with Norway in second position, 23.1 seconds back and Sweden in third, 37.8 seconds behind. After the second prone, Norway had a penalty, while Finland also had covered the extra 150 meters. For the second exchange, they left 6.2 seconds apart but Norway’s Sigrid Bredde Vig was faster and tapped her teammate 2.4 seconds in front of the rival. Poland followed them in 17 seconds, while Slovenia was fourth and Sweden, despite one of the best shooting and no penalties, was only fifth, 55.4 seconds back.
Out of Contention
Norway and Finland came to the last prone side by side; matching shot for shot, leaving the stadium still together. Newly crowned individual champion Oeberg, showed the same perfect shooting and moved her team to third, 43.9 seconds back. The fate of the medals would be decided at the final standing stage. While Finland's Heidi Nikkinen and Norway’s Juni Arnekleiv used spares and left for the penalty loop, Oeberg took her time and cleaned. All three girls left within 5 seconds with Finland in the lead. On the final lap, the young Swedish champion and Nikkinen were too fast, leaving Arnekleiv out of contention for the Gold. When they entered the stadium, the Finn was just behind Oeberg, shoulder-to-shoulder for last 50 meters. They crossed the finish together in a photo-finish which showed Sweden as the winner by centimeters.
Youth Men’s Relay
Behind Russia, second place in the youth men’s relay went to the Czech Republic with only seven spare rounds, 2:30.0 back. Norway took the last podium spot with two penalties and eleven spares, 3:04.5.
The same winter conditions with tough wind gusts remained during the men’s competition. Only two out of 20 teams managed to avoid the penalty loop. Russia took the lead from the first shooting stage and was never challenged by others; they were only increasing the advantage even despite two penalties on the second leg.
Finish with Flag
At the first exchange, the Czech Republic followed the Russian team in second, 1:03.2 back; Romania and Norway tagged their teammates almost together 25 seconds behind. By the next exchange, Russia increased the lead by 30 more seconds, Czech stayed in second, while Norway despite a penalty loop moved to third. After the last prone, the gaps between first five teams were a minute and more; it was clear that the top three would finish in the same order. Pervushin, the individual Gold medalist, shot fast and clean in the final standing, leaving with an almost 3 minutes lead, which allowed him to cross the finish line with the flag raised high. Czech’s Mikulas Karlik used three spares and left in second. Filip Andersen of Norway left one unclosed target which still did not prevent him from taking the Bronze medal.
D. Tashtimerov: "Our goal before the race was to win, and we managed it, I'm happy with my performace"— IBU Junior Cup (@IBU_Junior) February 28, 2018
A. Viukhin: "I think the cold conditions today helped us, we are used to the cold weather"
M. Pervushin: "Guys brought me a huge lead, so I was shooting and running calmly" pic.twitter.com/gkC7TCCeAW