Youth Relay Gold medals to Norway and Italy

Norway’s anchor Isak Frey took control of the Youth men’s 3 X 7.5 km relay after his prone stage, from that point unchallenged he led his team to the Gold medal in 58:15 at the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships. Frey and his teammates Stian Fedreheim and Andreas Aas used seven spare rounds in their Gold medal effort. Under a warm afternoon sun, Italy’s IBU Junior Cup Total Score winner Sara Scattolo anchored Italy to the Gold medal in the Youth women’s 3 X 6 km relay in 53:15.2. The Italian trio of Scattolo, her sister Ilaria and Fabiana Carpella used just three spare rounds in their victory.

Header icon2022 IBUYJWCH Youth Relays

Frey’s standing stage, “So nervous…it was like hell!”

Frey looked cool and collected on his anchor leg, but coming to the standing stage, “I was so nervous…It was like hell. I missed two shots and tried to refocus, start over with five new targets.” Hitting the last shot, “I was relieved but I knew there were fast skiers behind me and I had to ski a fast last loop. Winning the Gold medal is amazing; a great team effort.”

Special Win for Italy

The Youth women’s Gold medal, Italy’s first Gold of the week was an important milestone for the team, according to Scattolo. “It was special to win his Gold medal. We had a lot of fun; we are all friends and it is special for us.” With Coach Francesco Semenzato adding that this medal and the men’s Bronze, “Was very important for our team because it comes after a very hard week here and all of the hard work during the whole year.”

Youth Men’s Relay

Behind the Norwegian Gold medalists, Germany with twelve spares won the Silver medal, 8.7b seconds back. Italy, with six spares won the Bronze medal, 41.8 seconds back.

Estonia, with one penalty and eight spare rounds finished fourth, 1:16.9 back. Finland with one penalty and seven spares finished fifth, 1:28/7 back. Poland with seven spares finished sixth, 1:40.1 back.

Sun-dappled tracks; perfect conditions

After the four pursuit competitions on Sunday and a rest/training day yesterday, action at Soldier Hollow resumed today with the Youth relays. While it warmed up for the weekend competitions, relay conditions were definitely spring-like, with brilliant sunshine the thermometer reading +5C and the wind flags totally flat for the mid-day 16-team Youth men’s relay start. Despite the warm weather, the sun-dappled tracks were hard and fast after a deep overnight freeze. In the perfect shooting conditions, eight teams cleaned the prone stage with five shots, going out within 14 seconds led by Italy and Sweden. Italy led into the standing stage, but Switzerland’s Felix Ullman cleaned in five while the Italian needed a spare to clean, leaving him 5.8 seconds back followed by Norway and Germany as they headed to the first exchange.

Italy Tags First

Marco Barale overtook his Swiss rival before the exchange with Christoph Pircher leaving 4 seconds in front of Mathis Profit. Germany and Norway trailed by 14 and 18 seconds at the exchange. Pircher used a spare to clean prone to grab a 12-second lead over Profit and Norway’s Aas, who also used a spare round to clean, with Germany next at 16 seconds back. Everyone missed shots in the standing stage, but the Italian needed only two spares to clean, taking a six-second lead over the Norwegian who needed just a single extra shot. Germany left in third position after three spare rounds, dropping 24 seconds back. With really fast skis, especially on the downhills, Pircher extended his lead.

Italy, Germany and Norway

At the last exchange, Nicolo Betemps took the tag with an 18-second lead over Germany’s Albert Engelmann and Norway’s Frey. Slovakia’s Martin Cienik was in fourth but over a minute back. The Italian had trouble reloading, while Frey cleaned prone in five shots to go 11 seconds up, with Engelmann at 18 seconds back. By the standing stage, the German was up to second position. Frey had a substantial lead as he came to the standing stage. He missed his first two shots but cleaned with two spares, retaining the lead. Betemps used one spare to get away in second, 17 seconds back with Engelmann after three more extra shots at 25 seconds.

Germany Moves up to Silver

Frey controlled the last loop, sailing across the finish line for the Gold medal, while Engelmann came back to take the Silver medal and Italy taking the Bronze.

Youth Women’s Relay

Behind Italy’s dominating victory, Germany, also with three spares won the Silver medal, 28.2 seconds back. Bulgaria with five spares won the Bronze medal, 1:42.6 back.

Finland with five spares finished fourth, 3:05.8 back. Czech Republic, with one penalty and five spares finished fifth, 4:03.9 back while Slovenia with four penalties and ten spares finished sixth, 4:17.4 back.

Six Teams Clean, Spare-free

By the time the fourteen Youth women’s teams were on the starting line for their relay, the temperature was up to a balmy +10C, while the wind remained absent. The first six teams shot clean and spare-free in prone, all out of the stadium within 18 seconds, led by Bulgaria. By the standing stage, four teams were in close contention with Germany’s Iva Moric coming out of the range 10-for-10. Bulgaria, Austria and Poland were within 3.9 seconds.

Italy Takes the Lead

Before the first exchange, Poland's Anna Nedza-Kubiniec was in the front and tagged in the lead, with Austria’s lean Pinter leaving just a step behind with Bulgaria and Germany at 8 seconds back. By the prone stage, Germany’s Fichtner was in the lead, but Bulgaria’s Stefani Yolova closed her five targets in five shots, going back in front, eight seconds before Poland’s Barbara Skrobiszewska, who used one spare. The German fell 24 seconds back in a close battle with Italy’s Carpella. The Bulgarian extended her lead to 15 seconds by the standing stage; she needed spare to clean while her Italian rival on lane two went 5-for-5 to take the lead heading towards the final exchange, with Fichtner 11 seconds back.

Scattolo Pulls Away to Gold medal

The Italian extended her lead tagging the IBU Junior Cup Total Score winner Scattolo with a16.5 second lead over Bulgaria’s Lora Hristova and 33 seconds in front of Youth Pursuit World Champion Selina Grotian. The Italian pulled away from her chasers over the 2 km loop into prone, hitting the mat with a 30+-second bulge. Five perfect shots and she was gone before her rivals were on the mat. Grotian’s five equally perfect shots still left her 32 seconds back, with Hristova now 53 seconds in arears. The leader came to standing still holding Grotian at bay by over 30 seconds. She missed her third shot, calmly reloaded and closed the final one, sealing the Gold medal, leaving Grotian who cleaned in five shots still 22 seconds back in the Silver spot. Hristova added two spares but left with a Bronze medal in hand, over a minute back.

Photos: IBU/Bjorn Reichert

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