Bekh And Soerum Win Second Golds In Pursuit
Vebjoern Soerum of Norway doubled up by winning the junior men's pursuit Gold medal at the IBU YJWCH today after taking sprint Gold yesterday, while his teammate Sivert Guttorm Bakken matched his sprint Bronze with the same medal. Soerum had two penalties on his way to a32:47.2 victory. The Silver medal went to France' Martin Bourgeois Republique, who shot clean, moving from 15th at the start to finish just 6.4 seconds behind Soerum. Bakken in the Bronze spot, with three penalties, finished 12.6 seconds back.
The junior women's pursuit found Ukraine's sprint Gold medalist Ekaterina Bekh matching Soerum with her own sprint/pursuit double. Bekh had two penalties in her Gold medal effort, finishing in 31:23.8. Germany's Hanna Kebinger jumped from Spring Bronze to pursuit Silver, shooting clean, 9.1 seconds back. France's Sophie Chauveau, with three penalties, had her first podium of the season, taking the Bronze medal, 16.4 seconds back.
Soerum Doubles Down On A Gold Collection
Soerum kept his nerves under control and form the sprint in his victory in rainy Osrblie. With penalties in the first prone and first standing, he had enough ski speed and power to hold off the fast-finishing Bourgeois Republique. “My legs were tired from yesterday’s race but I managed to shoot just good enough to be able to keep my advantage from Sprint with solid skiing." Soerum who did not qualify for last year’s IBU YJWCH in Estonia continued, “I knew Sivert and Said will attack from behind but they were missing too. This results showed me what progress I have made and now I shall turn my focus to keep getting better and hopefully compete at the BMW IBU World Cup level in the not so distant future.”
Finishing third, with his second Bronze medal Bakken pushed his body into the red zone to finish .3 seconds ahead Said Karimulla Khalili. “I really used a lot of energy at these Championships. “After missing at the first prone and in the second standing I was hoping to clear all the targets in the second standing but it wasn’t to be. I still leave these Championships satisfied.”
Bourgeois Republique Wins Personal Start Right for Oslo - Holmenkollen
Bourgeois Republique was the big winner this week in Osrblie. The young French star performed at a consistently very high level all week, winning Gold in individual, finishing 15th in the sprint and winning Silver today. Those efforts gained him a Personal Start Right at the BMW IBU World Cup Final in Oslo, although the final decision on him competing there is up to the French Federation. “My legs were very strong today. I managed to shoot clean in these difficult wet conditions so I am very happy."
Nerves Of Steel for Bekh
Missing in the first prone and first standing, the 12th fastest ski time and 8th fastest at the shooting range was the winning combination in junior women's pursuit competition for now double Junior World Champion Bekh. She was not the only surprised by sudden change of weather however her waxing team reacted with great expertise enabling her to defend her number 1 spot from the sprint.
“I was very much surprised with the weather change, suddenly I didn’t know how my skis will be. Fortunately our waxers knew what to do,” said Bekh who was just 1.5 seconds ahead of Hanna Kebinger after the last standing stage. “I saw how close Hanna was and I just pushed and pushed. It is another great day. I now want to build up on this success and get to the BMW IBU World Cup level as soon as possible. I would like to reach the great highest possible level in biathlon.”
Second place Kebinger had the week of her life in Osrblie: ninth in the individual race, won silver in relay, bronze in sprint and silver in pursuit. She also didn’t expect strong rain during the competition but she adapted like a true warrior. “I again relied on my shooting, missing just once. I actually felt strong going into the last lap but Ekaterina was just stronger today. Three medals is crazy, I hope to show such high level of form at the IBU Open European Championships in Raubichi - Minsk, Belarus.”
Bronze medalist Sophie Chauveau was in the lead after the first standing; then missed twice in the second standing. Three penalty loops turned out to be too much for a last hurrah for the Gold but she still skied fast enough to finish third. “It was such difficult race;” said Chauveau, also the member of Gold-medal French relay team. “The Bronze medal for the last race is a great ending for me.”
Finishing twelfth in the individual and winning the sprint and pursuit also earned Bekh a Personal Start Right at the BMW IBU World Cup Final, but as this also needs to be approved by the Ukrainian Federation.