Zawol and Mokhova win Sprint Gold
The men's sprint competition started under windy conditions at the YOG venue Les Tuffes Nordic Centre. The young competitors were put to the test at the range and with every second counting out on the track.
Bib 52, Poland's Marcin Zawol was one of the few who had just one penalty, but it was his speed out the tracks that brought him the Gold medal. Leaving the standing shooting in second position he managed to cross the finish line in 19:23. to take the gold medal.
Zawol commented, " My coaches and my mum was out the track pushed me on the last loop. I knew I had to push because I was second after the last shooting. I am very happy and I cannot believe what I just have done."
Zawol admitted that the wind was very challenging but it was possible to shoot well; for him it was all about the routines."Today good shooting was everything, it is very windy and we see that this is a challenge. I was never thinking about a medal, I just focused on my routines."
Did not want to leave emptyhanded
Late starter, Denis Irodov of Russia had the advantage of running on Zawol's time, but he could not match the Pole on the last loop and had to settle with the Silver medal, 12.6 seconds back.
"I knew that sprit competition is... my competition. I did not want to leave YOG emptyhanded. I felt good during the first part of the competition and think I was lucky with the wind."
Leaving the standing shooting six seconds in front of Zawol, the young Russian did not have much power left, but just enough to finish keep the silver medal.
"Leaving the standing shooting with one miss, I just had to bite my teeth together and push to keep my medal."
Very tight competition
Norway's Vegard Thon shared the same out of errors at the range as both Zawol and Irodov but finished 19:42.3 +18. seconds off the winner. A bronze medal that was very welcomed by Thon.
"I wanted to do a good competition, and with only one miss at the range and decent ski time I succeed. I knew this was a very tight competition, you had to chase seconds everywhere. At the last loop, I understood that if I wanted a medal I had to push like never before, after crossing the finish line I was just overwhelmed by emotions."
The young Norwegian has now fulfilled his YOG goals.
"It was a goal of mine to be on the podium and it means so much to me."
Women's sprint competition ends in double gold to Russia
The Youth Olympic Gold medalist from the Individual competition, Alena Mokhova struck again today wining the sprint in 18:55,with one penalty, for her second YOG Gold medal. However t Mokhova was not so confident beforehand that It end up the way it did.
"This victory came as a surprise to me, the single mixed relay was a disaster and I was afraid that today will be a replay of that competition, but this was not the case I succeed with every goal I had."
The young Russian struggled to describe her feelings after the sprint.
Laughing, she commented"I have not really realized that I am a double Olympic medalist, and I strongly doubt that I will realize that before I get home. Everyone asks me about my emotions, but I have none."
"Happy for the both of us"
Going out nearly last, Anastasiia Zenova heard and saw her competitors out on the track, but that did not stop her from focusing only on herself. She finished two seconds behind her teammate, taking the Silver medal.
"I followed the results of my opponents, and heard the information about them over the radio, but I did not pay attention to that. I knew that this competition would be decided on the shooting range."
Leaving the standing stage in a battle for the medals, Zenova was tormented by what she heard from the coaches throughout the last kilometers of the competition.
"in my last loop out staff was standing at basically every 200 meters, and from every one of them, I got the same information: I was losing about one second between them. Hearing that was not so pleasant, but I knew I had to put it together. When I crossed the finish line I was so happy; not only for myself but also for my teammate."
Opened too fast
Austria's Anna Andexe had no expectations about ending up with a Bronze medal, but with only one penalty in the standing shooting, her great track speed made sure she would win the medal. She finished just six seconds behind Mokhova.
Andexe commented, "I think I opened a bit too fast as in the last round. My legs were so tired, and I cannot believe I still managed to pull off this medal. To be honest, I did not think that I would end up here because it is hard to get on the podium with one miss. I was informed on the last loop that I was in second place and then I gave everything I had left. To win an Olympic medal is just indescribable, I am speechless!"
Photos by Ben Queenborough & Chloe Knott for OIS and Laurent Mérat