France and Poland win gold in the  youth relays

France and Poland win gold in the youth relays

Men youth men relay team Poland with Konrad Badacz, Jan Gunka and Marcin Zawol won gold at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Obertilliach, Austria ahead of team France with Edgar Geny, Mathieu Garcia and Valentin Lejeune and team Italy with Stefan Navillod, Fabio Piller Cottrer and Marco Barale. Earlier in the day Fany Bertrand, Jeanne Richard and Maya Cloetens won gold in youth women relay ahead of Klara Vindišar, Kaja Zorc and Lena Repinc of Slovenia in the second place and Martina Trabucchi, Sara Scatollo and Linda Zingerle of Italy in the third place.

France and Poland win gold in the  youth relays

In the final twist, Poland comes out on top

Marcin Zawol kept his skis fast and his nerves in check when he came out on top of the long close battle with France’s Valentine Lejeune and Italy’s Marco Barale. Italy was in the lead until before the last shooting with no reloads; Barale then had two in the standing and this gave enough room to faster Zawol with just one reload to speed away from the rest. Lejeune had one reload per shooting and he edged closer to Barale but was no real match for Polish anchor. This is Poland’s first gold medal at the Obertilliach 2021 world championships.

France and Poland win gold in the  youth relays

France fully in charge at all exchanges

Maya Cloetens anchored French youth women relay team to a gold medal, France’s fourth, at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships 2021 in Obertilliach, Austria. Fany Bertrand opened the relay for France with two reloads and tagged Jeanne Richard as the first. Richard had four reloads but managed to preserve a tiny lead ahead of Italy’s fast-charging Sara Scatollo while Kaja Zorc fought back for Slovenia and tagged Lena Repinc, the most successful youth women athlete in Obertilliach, as the third before the final leg. As expected Linda Zingerle attacked for Italy, taking the lead after the fifth shooting with Cloetens 12.6 seconds behind while Repinc, who hesitated before clearing the fifth target with two reloads, lagged 41.1 seconds behind the Italian. High drama evolved in the last standing shooting where Zingerle rushed and then panicked and had to do three penalty loops but still managed to save bronze for Italy. Cloetens didn’t need any reloads and Repinc one and this proved to be deciding advantage for France at the end.

Photo: IBU/Bjorn Reichert