IBU Junior Cup Tests World Championship Tracks in Hochfilzen
IBU Junior Cup 2 offered the young competitors a given unique opportunity: to compete in the future WCH tracks.
For some athletes it is a dream coming true. To ski on World Championship track before names like Martin Fourcade, Laura Dahlmeier, Gabriela Soukalova, just months before the WCH. the Junior Cup athletes were given access to the stadium facilities that the World Cup athletes will be using. It clearly meant a lot for the young athletes
"When I stepped on on the track, I immediately recognized the the famous Hochfilzen tunnels," commented Russia's Valeriia Vasnetcova.
Like many others, Vasnetcova has never competed here before and had only seen the stadium from the television screen.
"The tracks here are really tough; the uphills looks much easier and shorter on the TV screen. When I skied the 2.5K loop I thought our coaches will say that this is a 3.5K loop, but that was not the case, I was surprised," the smiling Vasnetcova added.
Good Test Before IBU WCH
Hochfilzen 2017 Organizing Committee Chairman, Franz Berger admits that the current event is a good test before the biggest event in the World Cup season.
"This is a good test for our functionaries and also for the last tasting of all the new and rebuilt structures in the arena."
For Belgium's Tom Lahaye-Goffart, Hochfilzen is the first venue that stands out in the IBU Junior Cup.
"We immediately see that’s a World Cup Arena with big buildings, permanent wax cabins and television stands, unfortunately we don’t have a lot of public in IBU Junior Cup so that’s a little bit weird to be in such a silent place"
Lahaye-Goffart may be visiting Hochfilzen not for the last time this season, as he battles for a spot at Belgium's national team for the World Championships.
"As a little nation, Belgium has only one start position in World Cup and two at the World Championships, Michael Rösch races in the World Cup, so there is always a fight for the second spot at the World Champs between Thierry Langer and myself!"
Here are the all the podium results from IBU Junior Cup 2, in Hochfilzen:
The women's sprint was won by Russia's Valeriia Vasnetcova, with one penalty in 22:14.2. Her teammate Natalia Ushkina shot clean to finish second, 6.7 seconds back, while Lena Arnaud of France, also shooting clean finished third, 9.4 seconds back.
Valeriia Vasnetcova wins women's sprint in Hochfilzen, her teammate Natalia Ushkina finished second and Lena Arnaud of team France third pic.twitter.com/gCrWMgh3g3— IBU Junior Cup (@IBU_Junior) December 15, 2016
Germany's Lars-Erik Weick won the men's sprint in 25:30, with one penalty. Ukrainian Vitaliy Trush shot clean but finished second 5.4 seconds back, Roman Yeremin of Kazakhstan, with two penalties finished third, 23.4 seconds back.
Bib number 7, Germany's Anna Weidel climbed six places to win the women's pursuit, with two penalties, in 31:49.6. France's Myrtille Begue also had two penalties in second place, 33.3 seconds back. Russia's Ekaterina Moshkova won a finish line sprint in the last 100 meters to claim third over fourth place Christin Maier of Germany. Moshkova, also with two penalties finished, 41.1 seconds back.
Bib number 7, Germany's Anna Weidel wins women's pursuit. France's Myrtille Begue finished second and Russia's Ekaterina Moshkova third! pic.twitter.com/Fg8jwBDgkp— IBU Junior Cup (@IBU_Junior) December 16, 2016
Sprint runner-up Ukrainian Vitaliy Trush won the men's pursuit, with one penalty in 34:08.3. Russia's Kirill Streltsov shot clean and challenged Trush for the win in the last loop, but could handle Trush's ski speed and finished second, 11.4 seconds back. Kazakstan's Roman Yeremin matched his sprint third place, despite four penalties to third, 44.3 seconds back.
France's Camille Bened, Myrtille Begue and Lena Arnaud dominated the very first relay competition at the IBU Junior Cup. Arnaud crossed the finish line in 56:19.0. Germany's Vanessa Voigt, Christin Maier and Anna Weidel finished second, 46.8 seconds back. Kazakhstan's Arina Pantova, Alina Slepenko and Yelizaveta Belchenko finished third 1:12.1 back.
No team could match Russia's Aleksandr Nasekin, Igor Malinovskii, Nikita Porshnev, Kirill Streltsov in their relay victory as they led from wire-to-wire with a 1:19:36 win with five spare rounds. Belarus finished second 55 seconds back with one penalty and eight spare rounds with Czech Republic in third place, with nine spare rounds, 1:06.4 back.
Fully results from the IBU Junior Cup can be found at: http://biathlonresults.com/