RBU’s Anastasia Shevchenko doubled up today adding the IBU SB WCH Junior Women’s 7.5 km Pursuit Gold medal after taking the sprint title yesterday. Shevchenko, with two penalties and unchallenged after the second prone stage easily won in 21:52.5. Two hours later, Junior Men’s Sprint titlist Tomas Mikyska of Czech Republic matched her, taking his second consecutive Gold medal while leading teammates Jonas Marecek and Vitezslav Hornig to a podium sweep. Mikyska, with five penalties finished the 10 km route in 27:56.1.
Shevchenko was thinking about the Gold medal before the competition, but knew everything depended on good shooting. “Today the competition was successful for me. I was a bit surprised when discovered that the time gaps after the sprint, as well as the penalty loop, were halved. I realised that I had chances also for Gold. The most important thing was to shoot clean but in the first prone and first standing, I had mistakes. I tried to correct them in the following stages, which I managed to do and I am very glad.”
Last Loop Energy
Mikyska after his sprint win yesterday was concerned about how he would feel today, but found enough energy in the last loop to add another Gold medal to his trophy case. “I didn't sleep well last night so I wasn't sure of my conditions today. I shot really badly in prone; my coach shouted to me during the lap and I found the rhythm for standing. I was a little lucky on the last shot, but then I found the energy in the last loop to go for Gold.”
Junior Women’s Pursuit Opens Final Competition Day
Behind Shevchenko, Eniko Marton of Romania, with three penalties won the Silver medal, 31 seconds back. Sanita Bulina of Latvia, with four penalties won the Bronze medal, 38.9 seconds back.
Shevchenko’s teammate Anastasia Goreeva, with three penalties finished fourth, 49.3 seconds back. Slovenia’s Lena Repinc, with five penalties, finished fifth, 1:03.7 back after taking the Bronze medal in yesterday’s sprint. Tereza Vobornikova of Czech Republic, also with five penalties, finished sixth, 1:12.3 back.
The final day at the 2021 IBU SB WCH in Nove Mesto na Moravě looked about the same as the previous three, cloudy, cool, and some shooting range wind, but unlike previous days, no rain was falling as the junior women’s pursuit kicked off. Sprint winner Shevchenko with a five-second head start led the field out of the stadium for the first 1500 meter loop. She missed her last shot in the first prone stage while Bulina cleaned, leaving with a 9.5 second lead over her RBU rival. The leader missed her first two shots in the second prone, ceding the lead back to Shevchenko, as Marton moved into second position, 10 seconds back and 8 seconds ahead of Bulina.
Shevchenko Cleans Last Standing; Seals Second Gold medal
The very short loop kept the pace high as the standing stages approached. The top two both picked up single penalties while Bulina cleaned with ease. Shevchenko’s ski speed allowed her to retain a lead of 7.9 seconds over her Latvian foe, with Marton holding third despite one more penalty. Bulina and Marton closed the gap down to 3 seconds by the last standing stage. This time Shevchenko cleaned to seal her second Gold medal as Bulina picked up two penalty loops. Marton added one miss, heading out for the last 1500 meters in second, 25 seconds back, with Bulina in third trailing by 10 seconds. They finished in that order.
Junior Men’s Pursuit
Behind Mikyska’s Gold medal performance, his teammate Jonas Marecek, with two penalties, won the Silver medal, 4.3 seconds back. Vitezslav Hornig, with five penalties completed the Czech podium sweep with the Bronze medal, 5.8 seconds back.
Tomas Sklenarik of Slovakia, with two penalties, finished fourth, 10.1 seconds back. George Marian Coltea of Romania, with five penalties, finished fifth, 1:01.3 back, and Stepan Kinash of Ukraine, also with five penalties, finished sixth, 1:07.9 back.
Hornig and Sklenarik
The Czech duo who topped yesterday’s sprint led the field out on the first of five 2 km loops. The wind flags were flapping a bit harder than earlier in the day; Mikyska picked up three penalties in the first prone stage to fall 25 seconds back. Hornig missed just once to take a 15-second lead over Sklenarik. Hornig picked up two penalties in the second prone, but his Slovak rival after starting slowly, cleaned to get a six-second advantage. Marecek after two misses in the first stage, cleaned to move up to third position ahead of the standing stages.
Final Standing Stage Drama
Hornig skied hard in the third loop to get a step or two ahead Sklenarik by the time they reached the first standing stage. Shooting side-by-side, both had a penalty, but Hornig retained a two-second lead, with Marecek and Mikyska five and nine seconds back, third and fourth, respectively. The medals were on the line as the quartet came to the dramatic final standing stage. Mikyska, Hornig and Sklenarik came in together with Marecek a few seconds in arrears. Marecek and Mikyska cleaned, going out together while the other two men went for a penalty loop.
Czech Trio Sweep
The last loop was Marecek and Mikyska battling with Sklenarik and Hornig dueling 10 seconds back. The sprint winner looked strong, pulling to a 5 second lead with 900 meters to go over Marecek while Hornig moved up to third position. The trio came home in that order for a Czech team sweep in the last junior competition at this year’s IBU SB WCH.
Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni