Gold medals in the mass start 60 at the YJWCH in Otepaa go to Norway, Germany and Ukraine

What exciting mass start 60 races at the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships 2024 in Otepaa. Kasper Kalkenberg from Norway ran a lonely race at the front and lived up to his role as favourite in the youth mass start 60. Oleksandra Merkushyna surprised everyone. She won her first gold medal at a World Championships. There was a Norwegian triple victory in the junior mens' race and Julia Kink from Germany won the junior women's race.

Kasper Kalkenberg is one of the most successful athletes at the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships in Otepaa 2024. In addition to the two silver medals from the individual and mixed relay and the gold from the sprint race, he added another gold after the mass start 60. He secured his next triumph with four flawless shooting performances. Throughout the race, Kalkenberg was able to run at the front and pull further away from the competition on each lap.

Finally a medal for Estonia

Jakob Kulbin from Estonia finished 37 seconds behind the winning time. He won the first medal for the hosts and the fans in the stadium celebrated his triumph like a gold medal. He was also able to avoid the penalty loop. On the final lap, Kulbin left Oliver Alm from Norway behind, who had to run two penalty loops.

Tears at the finish for Oleksandra Merkushyna

Oleksandra Merkushyna from Ukraine ran the best race of her career so far. With the fastest time at the shooting range and only two penalties in the prone position, she worked her way forwards from round to round. She went into the final lap together with Lola Bugeaud from France and was able to keep her at bay in the finish. Merkushyna was overwhelmed by her emotions at the finish. This is her first individual medal at a World Championships. Lola Bugeaud only missed one target. Carlotta Gautero from Italy came third.

Triple victory for Norway in the juniors

Norway dominates the junior race. Sivert Gerhardsen remained penalty-free four times at the shooting range and was able to come out on top ahead of his team-mates Isak Frey and Tobias Alm. Isak Frey had two penalties, Tobias Alm missed once. Vitalii Mandzyn from the Ukraine finished in fourth place, 46 seconds behind the winner. He thus wins the overall ranking in the mass start 60 discipline of the IBU Junior Cup. Konrad Badacz from Poland finishes fifth and Ole Suhrke completes the good Norwegian team result in sixth place.

Julia Kink with a surprise victory

Julia Kink from Germany continued to improve during the World Championships. After an 11th place in the individual and fifth place in the sprint, she was the fastest over the 9-kilometre distance in the mass start 60 and won the race with just two shooting mistakes. Kink only decided the race on the final lap, where she battled against Ema Kapustova from Slovakia. This is Kapustova's second medal in Otepaa. She already won silver in the Individual. With second place, the Slovakian also secured the overall ranking in the mass start 60 of the Junior Cup. Fany Bertrand from France missed only one target and finished in third place.

Anna Andexer and Lukas Haslinger from Austria win the crystal globes for victory in the overall standings of the IBU Junior Cup in the 2023/24 season.

Photos: IBU I Osula

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