Nevland had never started a pursuit first; that led to some nerves. “I was really nervous before today. It was a new experience to start first. When I missed two shots on the first prone, I felt like I could just lower my shoulders and have fun out on the tracks. I am very happy with another win.”
Vobornikova, “No expectations”
Vobornikova had no thoughts about winning a second Gold medal on the second consecutive day. “I had no expectations before today’s race. I just wanted to do my best. It is very nice that I managed it again.” As for the last standing stage, “I was trying to focus myself on the last shooting, do what I am supposed to do. I managed it and am very happy.”
Junior Men’s Pursuit
Behind Nevland, Bulgaria’s Blagoy Todev, with one penalty won the Silver medal, 14.1 seconds back. Nevland’s teammate Martin Uldal, with three penalties won the Bronze medal, matching the one he won in yesterday’s sprint, 33.7 seconds back.
Italy’s David Zingerle, with three penalties finished fourth, 43.3 seconds back. A third Norwegian Mats Overby, with one penalty finished fifth, 48.3 seconds back. Jonas Marecek of Czech Republic, the Individual Gold medalist finished sixth, with two penalties, 51.3 seconds back.
Junior Cup Pursuit and Total Score Globes
Thirteenth place Paul Fontaine of France won the Junior Cup Pursuit Score Crystal Globe, while Neutral Athlete from Russia Aleksandr Kornev won the Junior Cup Total Score Crystal Globe.
The Junior pursuits kicked off mid-afternoon under partly sunny skies, the temperature jumping up to just at freezing with a bit more wind than the Youth pursuits had a few hours earlier. Nevland led the first loop but missed two shots. His teammates Uldal and Overby did clean to go into the lead wit Todev despite a penalty in third and the clean-shooting Zingerle next, both at 17 seconds back and Kornev next, with Nevland at 19 seconds back.
Uldal was in and clean before Nevland now up to second, fired a shot. Yet the Sprint Champion also cleaned. Leaving third, a step behind the 10-for-10 Zingerle at 13.8 and 14.8 seconds back. Kornev held fourth, several seconds farther back, with Todev on his shoulder as they headed for the first standing stage.
The leader kept his pursuers at bay but they closed to within six seconds at the 6.6 km split. The Norwegian teammates set up on lane one and two for the first standing stage. Uldal missed two shots and Nevland with one got away in the lead with clean-shooting Todev 5 seconds back accompanied by Uldal. Zingerle after two penalty loops held fourth, but 25 seconds from the top group, with Overby a couple of seconds farther back.
The trailing Norwegians quickly passed Todev, pulling away to a sizeable gap before they reached the deciding last standing stage. Nevland shot slowly but clean, taking the lead while Uldal picked up a penalty. Todev cleaned to slip away in second but with the speedy Uldal on his shoulder, 5.8 and 8.4 seconds back. Zingerle trailed in fourth 25 seconds back.
Nevland was unchallenged in the last loop, skiing easily across the finish line for a sprint/pursuit double. Todev held for the Silver medal as Uldal faded but retained the Bronze medal spot.
Following Vobornikova, Italy’s Hanna Auchentaller with one penalty won the Silver medal, 6.2 seconds back. Norway’s Frida Dokken, with one penalty won the Bronze medal, 9.7 seconds back.
Lisa Maria Spark of Germany, with three penalties finished fourth, 41.2 seconds back. Lea Meier of Switzerland, with two penalties finished fifth, 41.3 seconds back. Jeanne Richard of France shot clean, moving from 24th to sixth place, 42.4 seconds back. Junior Cup Pursuit and Total Score Globes
Richard also won the Junior Cup Pursuit score Crystal Globe, while fourth place in the Youth women’s pursuit Sara Scattolo won the Junior Cup Total Score.
The Junior women’s pursuit, the day’s fourth competition closed out the busiest day of these IBU YJWCH. The wind picked up just before the competition started, not a lot but enough to add a click or two before shooting. Spark led the top three from the sprint into the range. They all shot carefully, with Vobornikova cleaning first and Spark next while Passler went to the penalty loop. Trabucchi cleaned to go out third but 18 seconds behind the Czech and German athletes.
Vobornikova missed two shots and Spark one in the second prone, but Auchentaller cleaned for the second consecutive stage to move into the lead, with Spark and Vobornikova next. Trabucchi after a penalty was fourth. The 10-for-10 Keranen was fifth 15 seconds back with Passler now 25 seconds off the lead.
Spark moved to a half-step lead over the Italian and Vobornikova before they got to the range for the first standing stage. Auchentaller and Spark went shot-for-shot; both cleaning. Keranen went to 15-for-15 to move into third position as Vobornikova headed to the penalty loop, falling 24 seconds back, just a step ahead of fourth position Dokken.
The leaders skied side-by-side the whole loop before the last standing stage; once again setting up next to each other for five final shots. Auchentaller picked up a penalty while Spark had two. However, Vobornikova and Dokken cleaned leaving almost together and 4.8 seconds ahead of the Italian.
Vobornikova immediately pulled away as they left the range but Auchentaller was game, not giving up. The Italian made a move on the last hill, closing to 2.4 seconds back. Still Vobornikova held on for her second consecutive Gold medal. Auchentaller took the Silver with Dokken taking Bronze.
Photos: IBU/Bjorn Reichert