IBU Youth/ju­nior Worlds

SkiTrax - - Contents - Pur­suit

by Nick Sta­ple­ton

The 2016 In­ter­na­tional Biathlon Union (IBU) Ju­nior/youth World Cham­pi­onships were held in Cheile Gradis­tei, Ro­ma­nia from Jan. 27-Feb. 2.

In­di­vid­ual Start

Ger­many's Ma­rina Sauter had two misses to beat Myr­tille Begue of France and Mar­keta Davi­dová of the Czech Repub­lic for the win in the youth 10km In­di­vid­ual com­pe­ti­tion. Me­gan Bankes of Canada over­came six misses to fin­ish 19th, the only North Amer­i­can to fin­ish in the top 30.

Teo Sanchez of Canada was a strong 13th, while Adam Run­nalls was 17th, de­spite four misses, while Har­ald Oey­gard and Alek­sander Fjeld An­der­sen from Nor­way took the top two spots in the 12.5km youth men's com­pe­ti­tion with one miss apiece. Michael Du­rand of Italy fin­ished third.

In the ju­nior women's race, Amer­i­can Mad­die Pha­neuf had two misses, but man­aged to fin­ish in an ex­cel­lent fifth place, while Su­sanna Kurzthaler of Aus­tria shot clean to beat Ukrainian Anas­tasiya Merkush­nya, who had one miss. Aus­trian Ju­lia Sch­waiger shot clean as well and fin­ished third. Leilani Tam von Burg of Canada was 30th with two misses.

Amer­i­can Sean Do­herty claimed third in the 15km ju­nior men's race for his eighth Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships medal. Aus­trian Felix Leit­ner won by a de­ci­sive 1:50 over Ital­ian An­drea Baretto, who shot clean. “To­day I felt strong on the skis and in con­trol on the shoot­ing range. I'm look­ing for­ward to the sprint and to more rac­ing to come,” said Do­herty post-race.

Sprint

Cana­dian Na­dia Mos­ner led the North Amer­i­cans, fin­ish­ing 19th with one miss in the prone in the youth women's 6km sprint, while Nor­we­gian Karo­line Erdal won by 28.5 sec­onds over com­pa­triot Em­i­lie Ågheim Kalken­berg. The Ukraine's Anna Kryvonos was third. The top three all had one miss in the stand­ing ses­sion on the range. In the ju­nior women's 7.5km sprint, Amer­i­can Pha­neuf had another strong re­sult, claim­ing sev­enth with one miss at 36 sec­onds be­hind win­ner Hanna Öberg of Swe­den, who shot clean to win by just 0.6 sec­onds over Lena Häckl of Switzer­land, who had two misses. Anna Mag­nus­son of Swe­den was third at 12 sec­onds back, while Cana­dian Tam von Burg was 28th with one miss.

In the youth men's 7.5km, Canada's Sanchez had one miss, fin­ish­ing 17th, while his team­mate Run­nalls was 21st with two misses. Igor Mali­novskii of Rus­sia took the win by 26.3 sec­onds ahead of Nor­way's En­dre Stroemsheim, who shot clean. Rus­sia's Vi­ach­eslav Maleev was third with two penal­ties. In the men's ju­nior 10km, Do­herty im­proved to take sil­ver at 30 sec­onds be­hind Leit­ner of Aus­tria, who won for the sec­ond day in a row, with David Zo­bel of Ger­many in third. Canada's Bankes was 18th and team­mate Moser fin­ished 24th, as Kazakhstan won its first gold of the Cham­pi­onships in the youth women's 7.5km Pur­suit cour­tesy of Arina Pan­tova, with one miss to grab a 3.4-sec­ond vic­tory over Ukraine's Kryvonos, who missed three shots. Another minute back was Sauter of Ger­many in third, who missed twice. Pha­neuf missed four shots and dropped from sev­enth to ninth in the ju­nior women's race won by Öberg, who shot clean for Swe­den's third straight ju­nior women's medal. Switzer­land's Häckl, who missed six shots, was sec­ond and Chloé Che­va­lier of France missed two shots for third.

Rus­sia dealt another blow to the ri­val Nor­we­gians, tak­ing the top two spots in the youth men's 10km Pur­suit, as Maleev won with two misses ahead of Mali­novskii, who was 1:07 back de­spite seven misses. Oey­gard of Nor­way took the last podium spot, 1:13 be­hind the win­ner with two misses. Canada's Sanchez fin­ished 17th with one miss, while Run­nalls was 19th with four misses. In the ju­nior men's 12.5km Pur­suit, Do­herty con­tin­ued his podium climb, mov­ing up to the top spot with two misses to take a 29.6-sec­ond win over the Rus­sian Nikita Por­sh­nev. Leit­ner of Aus­tria missed three shots and dropped to third. It was Do­herty's 10th podium, end­ing his ju­nior ca­reer as the most dec­o­rated ath­lete at Youth/ju­nior World Cham­pi­onships. “I could not be hap­pier right now,” said Do­herty. “This race to­day was the per­fect way to end my ca­reer as a ju­nior. I could not have even imag­ined a bet­ter race.”

Re­lays

Canada's team of Emily Dick­son, Moser and Bankes fin­ished 10th at 3:51 be­hind Rus­sia, who struck again in the 3x6km youth women's re­lay with Iaroslava Per­vakova, Va­leriia Vas­net­cova and Polina Shevn­ina, win­ning by 24 sec­onds over the Czech Repub­lic. Nor­way's team was third, with 11 misses and one penalty, while the U.S.A. team fin­ished 16th, at 8:27 be­hind.

In the ju­nior women's 3x6km re­lay, Nor­way was the clear win­ner, beat­ing Swe­den by 15 sec­onds and Aus­tria by 55 sec­onds. The U.S.A. was 12th de­spite Pha­neuf's fourth-best open­ing-leg time, while Canada did not fin­ish.

Canada's team of Sanchez, Run­nalls and Zachari Bolduc fin­ished a stel­lar fifth, miss­ing just five shots in the youth men's 3x7.5km. Nor­way scored a win over the strong Rus­sian team, win­ning by 39 sec­onds. The next-best team, Italy, was 2:06.9 be­hind, while the U.S. team was 15th, nearly eight min­utes be­hind.

Rus­sia had the fi­nal word of the day, dom­i­nat­ing the ju­nior men's 4x7.5km race by miss­ing just two shots for a 1:59.6 win over Ger­many. The Czech Repub­lic fin­ished in third, another minute back, while Nor­way fin­ished a dis­ap­point­ing fourth. Canada's team was 14th with eight penal­ties, 11:12 back, while the U.S. team raced with­out star Do­herty to fin­ish 18th, at 17:33 back. – NS

Amer­i­can Sean Do­herty won the ju­nior men's 12.5km Pur­suit for his 10th podium, end­ing his ju­nior ca­reer as the most dec­o­rated ath­lete at Youth/ Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onships.

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