Norway wins the youth relays at the World Championships in Otepaa

Two gold medals for Norway at the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships in Otepaa. Isak Skogrand, Oliver Alm and Kasper Kalkenberg win the youth men’s relay with only six reloads and the fastest ski time. The women's team follows suit with Agathe Brathagen, Anna Torjussen and Silje Berg-Knutsen.

It was almost more difficult for Kasper Kalkenberg to bring the flag to the finish line than to win the relay with his team. When the Norwegian team's final runner ran the last few metres of the race with the flag, it fell apart. But Kalkenberg still had enough time to turn round and bring the broken flag to the finish line, where his team-mates Isak Skogrand and Oliver Alm were already waiting.

France and Italy fight for the medals

With only six spare rounds and the fastest ski time, the Norwegians were the dominant team today. Behind them, France and Italy fought for the places. Antonin Guy and Nicola Giordano came together for the final prone shooting. Frenchman Guy needed all the spare rounds, but Giordano had to go into the penalty loop twice. But with enough of a lead, Nicola Giardano was still able to secure the medal for his team. Leo Carlier, Jeremie Bouchex-Bellomie and Antonin Guy finished second. Italy with Michele Carollo, Davide Cola and Nicola Giordano celebrate the bronze medal, which is a surprise.

Women's race decided on the final lap

The women's race was not decided until the last shooting round. Norway, Italy and France came to the shooting range together. Lou-Anne Dupont Ballet Baz from France shot a penalty round and had to let Silje Berg-Knutsen from Norway and Carlotta Gautero from Italy go. The Italian even managed to finish all ten shots without reloading. Berg-Knutsen then beat Gautero on the final lap and finished six seconds ahead, celebrating the gold medal with her team Agathe Brathagen and Anna Torjussen. Fabiola Miraglio Mellano, Nayeli Mariotti Cavagnet and Carlotta Gautero were also happy with their medals.

Fight to the last metre

After her penalty loop, Lou-Anne Dupont Ballet Baz skated together with the Czech Heda Mikolasova on the last lap. The two battled all the way to the finish line, where Mikolasova came out on top by just one tenth to secure the bronze medal for her team. Afterwards, Agata Moskvova, Ilona Plechacova and Heda Mikolasova were in each other's arms. For the French team of Lola Bugeaud, Voldiya Galmace Paulin and Lou-Anne Dupont Ballet Baz, all that remained was a thankless fourth place next to the podium.

Photos: Osula I IBU

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