The elder Claude brother’s Gold medal was his first IBU medal since winning Sprint Silver at the 2012 IBU Junior World Championships. “I am very happy because it is a medal even if it is in the summer. It is always good to see what is good during the preparation. Yesterday’s fifth place was already good, but today I wanted to do the job on the shooting range. I knew my shape was good, but I did not specifically prepare for this event. Clean shooting was good and it was pretty fast for me. I just had to manage my speed in the last loop to go for the win.”
After the competition was completed, the jury met, issuing the following statement: “Due to a violation of rifle safety (11.3.4.q) Andrejs Rastorgujevs (LAT) has been disqualified by jury decision. The safety violation in question was related to a wrong position of the rifle when the athlete was skiing away from the shooting mat. As a result, Vytautas Strolia (LTU) moves into second place and Jesper Nelin (SWE) moves into third place.”
The Silver medal went to Lithuania’s Vytautas Strolia, with one penalty 27.1 seconds back. Sweden’s Jesper Nelin, with one penalty won the Bronze medal, 29.1 seconds back. Anton Dudchenko of Ukraine and Maksim Fomin of Lithuania both shot clean, finishing fourth and fifth, 30 and 31.5 seconds back, respectively. Nelin’s teammate Peppe Femling, with one penalty finished sixth, 34.2 seconds back.
Starter 18 Claude closed his five prone targets for the early lead but was later supplanted by Dmitrii Shamaev, 5.2 seconds faster with seven other men all clean and within a dozen seconds.
Nelin, just out of the top group missed a prone shot but cleaned standing. Dudchenko went to 10-for-10 with a perfect standing stage, moving into third position. Just after, Claude made his podium bid with a fast second loop and his second perfect stage to take an 18.1-second lead on the field. Strolia cleaned standing after a prone miss, leaving just 4 seconds behind Dudchenko.
By the 6 km split, Dudchenko had the lead briefly until Claude on fire after his perfect day on the range, quickly came by, stretching his gap out to 22 seconds. Strolia, after coming out of standing in seventh position continued to pick up speed, passing his rivals including Nelin. The Belgian continued to push hard, adding a couple of more seconds by the finish, securing the victory and the Gold medal.
Tomingas, after a Silver medal yesterday was eager to go to the top of the podium, despite the challenging wind conditions. “Of course, I am really happy (with the Gold medal). I had problems with the wind and do some corrections but my prone shooting was really slow. I really wanted to win today so on the last loop, the only way was to push with everything you have.”
Behind Tomingas, Germany’s Lisa Marie Spark shot clean to win the Silver medal, 1.9 seconds back. Czech Republic’s Tereza Vinklarkova also shot clean to win the Bronze medal, 13.5 seconds back. Natalia Sidorowicz, with one penalty finished fourth, 29.8 seconds back. Tomingas’ teammate Susan Kuelm, also with one penalty finished fifth, 30.7 seconds back. Vinklarkova’s teammate Lucie Charvátová, with three penalties finished sixth, 32.7 seconds back.
After the morning junior competitions, the women opened the Sprint Saturday afternoon program, under sunny skies and a strong wind blowing directly at the firing line, complicating shooting at times. Super Sprint Silver medalist Tomingas continued her torrid week in Osrblie, cleaning prone for the early lead. Brorsson after struggling in the super sprint quickly one-upped the Estonian cleaning eight seconds faster; Charvátová later went another second faster to move into the top spot.
Tomingas missed a standing shot, but Super Sprint Bronze medalist Spark closed all five standing targets, taking the lead. Brorsson missed twice and Charvátová three times leaving Spark in control of the competition. Starter number 54 Vinklarkova after cleaning prone despite the wind, cleaned standing, heading out in second position, seven seconds off the lead.
Spark, in front after standing was unable to hold the top spot in the last loop, slipping behind Tomingas at the finish. Vinklarkova lost a few seconds on the last loop but sprinted down the last meters to secure the Bronze medal, her first-ever IBU Championships medal.
The junior women’s 6 km sprint kicked off Sprint Saturday under cloudy skies on again a warm 26C morning. Junior Super Sprint Gold medalist Hristova, wearing bib number seven, set the bar high from the start with a clean prone stage, followed by a single standing penalty. With that strong start and superior track speed, the young Bulgarian remained unchallenged throughout the competition, taking her second Gold medal at these Championships. Local favorite Ema Kapustova of Slovakia matched Hristova with a single penalty, taking the Silver medal, 26.2 seconds back. Bulgaria’s Valentina Dimitrova, also with one penalty joined her teammate on the podium, taking the Bronze medal, 45.3 seconds back.
After missing the podium in the super sprint two days ago, the Ukrainian team made up by sweeping the podium in this afternoon’s junior men’s 7.5 km sprint. The Ukrainian trio jumped to the top of the leaderboard when all three cleaned the standing stage, leaving all their rivals behind. Bohdan Borkovskyi, with a single prone penalty won the Gold medal in 19:05.5. Stepan Kinash, shooting clean, won the Silver medal, a mere .5 seconds back. Vitalii Mandzyn, with one penalty won the Bronze medal, 11.9 seconds back.
The IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships conclude on Sunday with junior pursuits and the senior Gala Mass Starts.
Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni