Clean shooting Baserga and Claude win junior sprint gold
Emilien Claude of France lived up the big expectations and to his big potential and won the junior men 10 km sprint at the IBU World Championships in Obertilliach, Austria. Mikulas Karlik of Czech republic with one miss finished 26.1 seconds back whereas clean shooting Mikhail Pervushin of Russia shot 10/10 and finished third, 31.3 seconds behind Claude. Earlier in the day also Clean shooting Amy Baserga of Switzerland, the winner of IBU Junior Cup Total Score standings title in the 2019/2020 season, won the first gold medal for Switzerland in Obertilliach in the junior women 7.5 km sprint. Silver went to Rebecca Passler of Italy, who missed once and was 22.2 seconds behind Baserga whereas bronze went to Juni Arnekliev of Norway with one miss and 0.7 seconds behind Passler.
Claude proves his world-class talent
In very warm conditions Claude started with a bib 13 and took control of the competition early on, clocking the second fastest time in the opening lap. Repeating his BMW IBU World Cup Oberhof 10/10 debutante performance from the sprint in the first week of Oberhof Claude was competing in a league of his own. Karlik clocked the fastest last lap and fought his way up, taking silver. Karlik was fourth after the first shooting, just 9.7 seconds behind Claude but it was in the second lap and in at the second shooting that the Frenchman did all the difference, skiing the fastest time and clearing all the targets with a composure of a champion in the making. Pervushin was 12th after the first shooting, moved to the second place after the standing shooting but lost too much time compared to fast-charging Karlik in a tight fight for the bronze medal. Simon Kaiser of Germany shot 10/10 and finished fourth, 33.1 seconds behind Claude, Eric Perrot of France and with one miss ended his race 37.8 seconds behind the winner whereas clean-shooting silver medalist from the individual Florian Lipowitz of Germany finished sixth.
Baserga’s superbly managed race
Baserga started with a steady and controlled pace in the first lap but once she cleared first five targets switched gears, clocked fastest second lap, took time to steady her nerves and keep focus, cleared all five targets in standing and clocked another fastest lap for her first junior gold medal. Passler used her fast paced shooting technique for the fastest shooting and the fastest range times while keeping her skiing speed high and stable for a very well deserved silver and important steps in her transition from youth to junior biathlon; Passler is a silver medalist in the youth individual from last years IBU Y/J World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Arnekliev started fast and second behind Russia’s Anastasia Goreeva after prone shooting and despite one miss in the standing this proved to be enough to keep the gold medalist from the individual Camille Bened of France, also with one miss, at bay. Bened at the end paid price for a very reserved first lap, where she posted only 27th fastest time and was already 37 seconds behind the Norwegian. Bened finished fourth, 31.3 seconds behind Baserga, Lea Maier of Switzerland fifth, 36.3 seconds behind her teammate and Goreeva, with three misses, sixth, 48.9 seconds behind the winner.
"This feels amazing. I am dedicating this medal to my boyfriend," said the winner Baserga.
Photo: IBU/Bjorn Reichert