Cisar and Bakken Win Youth Sprint Gold
Alex Cisar of Slovenia, one of the favorites at this year's IBU Youth/Junior World Championships, won his first medal capturing the youth men's sprint Gold medal with one penalty in 20:27.3, battling heavy snow. Teammate Lovro Planko also with one penalty won the Silver medal, 30.7 seconds back. went 1-2 in the youth men's sprint today at the IBU YJWCH in Osrblie. Otto Invenius of Finland won the Bronze medal, also with one penalty, 31.4 seconds back.
Maren Bakken of Norway, shooting clean won the youth women's sprint in17:31.6, her second Gold medal after being part of Norway's Gold medal relay team two days ago. Amy Baserga of Switzerland , with one penalty won the Silver medal, 24.6 seconds back. The Bronze medal went to Norway's Marte Moeller, also shooting clean, 29.5 seconds back. Moeller was also on the same Gold medal Norwegian relay team with Bakken.
Teammates, Roommates and Best Friends From Slovenia Take Gold and Silver
Cisar of, currently ranked 7th in IBU Junior Cup Total Score, needed two warm-up competitions to fully live up to his unofficial role as one of the medal favorites in Osrblie. He finished eighth in the individual with three penalties; then managed to out sprint his Italian and Kazak rivals in the final meters of the youth men's Relay bringing Slovenia the Silver medal. The sprint was where it was decided how these Championships would turn out for him; he delivered.
“We competed in tough, snowy conditions but I just focused on my race. Shooting wasn’t exactly perfect, that one miss on the prone still stinks, but I managed to ski really good and that won me the race at the end of the day,” said Cisar. “It seems I needed two races to really get my skiing to the top level and I am entering pursuit race on Sunday with great confidence. My form is exactly where I wanted it to be.”
The Silver medalist Planko admitted the medal was unexpected. Still he was extremely happy for himself and his best friend/roommate Cisar. “I am so super happy that I really don’t know what to say. I didn’t feel myself before the race, I felt tired during most of the time but when coaches told me I am in for a medal I gave it all in the last kilometer. Sharing this success with Alex is great. How will I enter pursuit, chasing my best friend? I will just go into the loops relaxed, it feels like a bonus race.”
Bronze medalist Invenius actually likes skiing in snowy conditions, although shooting in snow is not exactly his forte. he much less likes shooting in snow for shooting is not exactly his forte. “It turned out great day for me. I shot surprisingly well and was slower than I would have expected on the skis. It is my first ever medal and I am simply enjoying it.”
Clean Shooting Bakken Wins Second Gold
The snow that fell during the men's competition turned into a rather unpleasant mixture of snow and rain when youth women put their ambitions and skills to the test in the afternoon. Being fastest on the shooting range and fifth fastest on the tracks brought Bakke the Gold medal.
“It was a dream race, everything went as I wished, shot clean, was fast on the skis,” said the modest Bakken, slowly getting accustomed to sudden media attention. “I felt nervous before the race, now it feels good. My skis were really well prepared and I just let them fly around the course. I have no special expectations of Sunday’s pursuit competition.”
Silver medalist Baserga had a nagging pain in her back during breakfast and also before the competition but it disappeared in the heat of the competition. Her missed prone shot put her back in 29th. She switched to a higher gear after that loop, was second-fastest in the next loop and was faster than France's Paula Botet, the fastest skier of the day. “I actually felt really bad this morning,” the Swiss girl said. “But during the race I forgot about everything. It was a super cool race at the end and I am super happy about silver medal. I am looking forward to Sunday, to more competition, to further challenges.”
Tears of fatigue and happiness filled Marte Moeller of Norway finished after her Bronze medal effort. “It was such a tough race,” she said. “But when one shoots clean and finishes on the podium one is normally happy. It was also a very good team performance, combined, the four of us missed just one shot. I like it when all my colleagues perform well. For the pursuit I am just happy to be in the race, to enjoy the competition environment and the atmosphere.”