IBU Junior Cup Talents Test Youth Olympic Venue in France
After a successful competition weekend in Lenzerheide, Switzerland the IBU Junior Cup circus packed its bags and moved to France where the young talents put in big efforts in what is to be the stadium for the 2020 Lausanne Youth Olympic Games.
After a sunny official training, a different reality met the athletes throughout the week
With rain and snow pouring down 23 teams lined up on the starting line for the single mixed relay. Impressively without using any spare rounds Slovenian Alex Cisar andhispartner Nika Vindisar who used eight spare rounds in difficult conditions crossed the finish line first. Home crowd favorites Martin Bourgeois Republique and Camille Bened followed while Polish youngsters Filip Wojciech and Magda Piczura finished third.
"The competitors in the single mixed relay have to perform under pressure to win, and we managed to do that today," said Alex Cisar after the competition.
The day continued with mixed relay, where the home crowd could celebrate again, this time around for a win as a French team without their biggest junior stars; Lou Jeanmonnot Laurent and Emilien Claude, who was called up to the IBU Cup team fished first, followed by Germany in second place and Poland in third.
Sprints were on the menu for the second competition day; the conditions did not get any easier. That did not stop Switzerland's Sebastian Stalder who has already made his debut in the IBU World Cup, last season in Holmenkollen. Despite one missed target he showed great speed on the track and won for the first tine in his career. France's Martin Bourgeois Republique, followed up his great performance in the single mixed relay and finished for the second spot. Austria's Magnus Oberhauser finished in a career-best third place.
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3 podiums in 4 races🥇🥈🥉 pretty satisfied about my performance in france🇫🇷 . . thanks for the fast skis during this two weeks @karimeinen and @tschaeger #ibujuniorcup #swissbiathlonteam #schweizersporthilfe #spitzensportförderungderarmee #youhelpwerun2020 #rossignol #swix #julboeyewear
In the women's sprint Russia's Anastasia Kaisheva, the younger sister of Uliana Kaisheva finished only .2 seconds in front of2016 Lillehammer YOG mixed relay Silver medalist Germany's Juliane Fruehwirt with her teammate Franziska Pfnuer finishing third.
The pursuit competition was moved one day ahead due to the bad weather forecast of heavy rain Friday to Saturday, so the athletes were out on the tracks for the third day in a row.
Bib number eleven, rusia's Said Krimulla Khalili climbed ten spots to take the men's win, followed by his teammate Viacheslav Maleev who climbed nine spots from the sprint competition. The current IBU Junior Cup leader Sebastian Stalder of Switzerland finished third.
The women's pursuit competition was won by Germany's Juliane Fruehwirt. Despite seven penalties she had a clear plan for the competition,
"Today I tried to shoot as fast as possible because I knew that everyone would go to the penalty loop, so I decided to be the fastest, I just shoot and don't think if I hit or not, because everyone misses," said Fruehwirt
The 2018 Youth Pursuit World Champion Anastasia Goreeva of Russia finished second while one of the most experienced athletes in the field with IBU World Cup and IBU Cup starts under her belt, Nina Zadravec won the Bronze medal.
Now the athletes will get some rest and celebrate Christmas before the 2019 IBU YJWCH 2019 in Osrblie at the end of January.
Photo: Harald Deubert