Richard and Irodov win in the youth individual

Richard and Irodov win in the youth individual

Denis Irodov of Russia missed twice but seized the offered opportunity to win a gold medal in the youth men 12.5 km individual at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Obertilliach, Austria. Edgar Geny of France with three misses was second, 32.4 seconds behind and Leon Kienesberger of Austria with two misses third, just 0.3 seconds behind Geny. Earlier in the day, Jeanne Richard of France, missing twice and skiing third-fastest time won a gold in the youth women 10 km individual. Silver went to Slovenia’s Lena Repinc who had four misses but was in a league of her own on the tracks and bronze to a clean shooting Ema Kaputsova of Slovakia.

Richard and Irodov win in the youth individual

Irodov aced the shooting when it mattered most

In his first-eve international IBU competition, Irodov started with two misses and was only 51st after the first prone. But just like the youth women winner Jeanne Richard, he started to progress from stage to stage moving to 14th after second shooting, seventh after third and first after the last standing shooting. “I knew that my race was evolving well but I didn’t expect to win with two misses,” commented Irodov.

Geny started with 5/5 on the first prone, missed once in first and twice in second standing shooting while skiing 12.6 seconds faster than Irodov for a silver medal, second for France in Obertilliach’s opening day. Kienesberger, a local youth athlete, was fifth after first shooting, first after second, fourth after third and second after the second standing shoot.

Fourth place went to Andrei Haurosh of Belarus (54.2 seconds behind), fifth to Benjamin Menz of Germany (55.6 seconds behind) and sixth to Metis Udam of Estonia (1:06.3 behind).

Richard and Irodov win in the youth individual

Richard improved with every shooting

Richard opened her race with two misses and 26th place after the first prone. She then cleared all remaining 15 targets to first move to 13th place after second shooting, fifth after third shooting before taking the lead after the last standing which she carried over the finish line. Repinc opened the competition with a bib number one, missed once in each shooting stage but blasted through 10 kilometres and was 45.8 seconds faster than Linda Zingerle of Italy, who clocked second fastest skiing time and 57.5 seconds faster than Richard, who was third fastest on the skis. Ema Kaputsova was the only athlete in the field of 99 who had a perfect day on the shooting range with 20/20 which made up for 30th course time. Sara Andersson of Sweden finished fourth (just 0.5 seconds behind Kaputsova), Yulia Kavaleuskaya of Belarus fifth and Anastasiia Grishna of Russia sixth.

Richard and Irodov win in the youth individual

“This feels unbelievable. I think I had a good bib with number six and my shooting was good enough for a win,” said Richard who also won a silver in the individual at the Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020.

Photo:IBU/Bjorn Reichert

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