Borgula: “Stressed because I knew I had a chance to win”
Borgula was pretty stressed, thinking about the possibility of a Gold medal. “I am really excited. I did not think this would be possible. I am so happy and grateful; it is amazing! This morning, I was really stressed because I knew I had a chance to win but I had to shoot good. So much stress but I managed. On the last loop, the stress was still pretty high because I did not know where the other athletes were, so I still gave it my all even in the last lap.”
Grotian unsure if she could win
Coming into the last standing stage, Grotian was not so sure that she could take the Gold medal. “If I am being honest, no, I did not think I could win. But I thought I had to do it now fast or I get nothing. I did it fast; I am glad I shot all five targets and very happy I won this Gold medal.”
Behind the three-time IBU Youth WCH medalist, Albert Engelmann of Germany with three penalties won the Silver medal, 30.3 seconds back. Finland’s Arttu Heikkinen, the individual Gold medalist, with three penalties today won the Bronze medal, 49 seconds back.
Pavel Trojer of Slovenia, with two penalties finished fourth, 1:04.4 back. Fifth place went to Konrad Badacz of Poland, with three penalties, 1:07.6 back with Eemi Naumanen of Finland, with one penalty in sixth, 1:08.2 back Déjà vu Pursuit Sunday
Although Saturday was a pretty perfect biathlon day, Pursuit Sunday proved to be a déjà vu day, more of the same clear blue skies, brilliant sunshine, cold but not bitter and little wind on the shooting range. The top four from the sprint came to the first prone together, Borgula cleaned quickly as did Badacz. They left just 10 meters apart, Engelmann followed after a penalty but 27 seconds of the pace. The also clean shooting Muellauer was fourth but 50 seconds back.
The two leaders came to the second prone together; Borgula again was the fastest in closing all five targets but his Polish rival did the same and they left almost together again. The German closed the gap with his own clean stage, now 17 seconds back. The Finnish duo of Heikkinen and Naumanen were next but 51 and 57 seconds back.
Mid-way through the next loop, Engelmann had caught the leading duo and the now trio lapped the last competitors in the field, just before the first standing stage. Borgula was in total control as he easily closed his five targets, going to 15-for 15. Engelmann shot slower but cleaned to move into second, 20 seconds back. Heikkinen cleaned to go into third position, but 49 seconds back with Badacz another five seconds in arrears.
Engelmann again closed the gap but not as quickly, still trailing as they came to the deciding last standing stage. Borgula missed his second shot but on his way to the penalty loop before Engelmann fired. The Slovak left with a 43-second lead over Engelmann who missed twice. Heikkinen missed a shot but left the loop in third, 52 seconds back.
The Slovak was in total control on the last 2 km loop with the Gold medal securely in hand and executed a well-planned jump across the line in celebration of his victory. Engelmann followed for the Silver and Heikkinen the Bronze.
Behind Grotian’s Gold medal, Slovenia’s Lena Repinc, also with one penalty won the Silver medal, 14.9 seconds back. Sweden’s Sara Andersson, with one penalty won the Bronze medal, 39.4 seconds back.
Italy’s Sara Scattolo, with three penalties, finished fourth, 1:12.7 back. Sprint Gold medalist Maren Kirkeeide of Norway, with four penalties finished fifth, 1:41.7 back. Grotian’s teammate Iva Moric, with two penalties, finished sixth, 1:52,4 back.
Just 60 minutes after the Youth men started, the Youth women set out on their short fast pursuit. Kirkeeide led the field into the first prone stage with the sprint Silver and Bronze medalists about 40 meters back. Grotian and Repinc cleaned, going out first and second with the also clean Moric in third a dozen seconds back. The Norwegian went for a single tour of the penalty loop.
Grotian led her Slovenian rival by a ski length into the second prone stage. The German cleaned while Repinc picked up a single penalty. Andersson cleaned moving into second position, 15 seconds back with Repinc and Moric who also closed all five targets following, 22 seconds back.
By the first standing stage, Grotian was well in front with a pack of five pursuers about 18 seconds back. The German had a penalty, but Andersson shooting carefully cleaned, going to 15-for-15 and moving into the top spot. Repinc cleaned and left with Grotian as the German exited the penalty loop, 12 seconds back. Scattolo with her second penalty moved up to fourth, but 39.1 seconds off the leader.
The young Swede, all alone in the last standing stage hit four shots and missed the final one. However, Grotian cleaned, retaking the lead with the also clean Repinc 7 seconds back and Andersson 15 seconds back with 1500 meters to the finish.
Grotian skied away from her rivals, sealing the Gold medal, with Repinc taking her second Silver medal in two days and Andersson taking home Bronze.
Photos: Bjorn Reichert