Russia Doubles Up
|22.09.2011, Nove Mesto / IBU Info PL/JK|
|IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships|
|Three hours after the Junior competition, nine senior Mixed Relays of the Seniors took to the tracks chasing World Championships medals. A lot of familiar faces were on the start for the competition. Among them were Krystyna Palka, Magdalena Gwizdon and Tomasz Sikora of Poland, Anton Shipulin and Dmitri Yaroshenko of Russia, Anastasiya Kuzmina and Pavol Hurajt of Slovakia as well as Valj Semerenko of Ukraine and Michal Slesingr of host nation.
Thrilling Fight at the Top
On the first leg Palka faced Kuzmina from and the Czech Republic’s Veronika Vitkova. The Polish woman tagged her teammate Magdalena Gwizdon in first position, followed by Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Russia. However Gwizdon had a very bad day in the first shooting stage and Slovakia’s Jana Gerekova went to the front, as the Polish team fell off the pace.
Top Four Men’s Teams Battle
When the men took over, still Slovakia was in front. Miroslav Soukop held a 28 second lead over Andriy Deryzemlya of Ukraine and Jaroslav Soukup of the Czech Republic.
By the second shooting stage all three athletes were standing side by side but only the Ukrainian shot well and left the range in first. The nervous Soukup totally fell apart and made two tours of the penalty loop, which gave Russia’s Shipulin the opportunity to jump into third.
At the final exchange, a group of the top athletes went in the hunt for the medals. Olexander Bilanenko of Ukraine went out in first position, followed by Hurajt, closely followed by Yaroshenko of Russia. Slesingr followed a bit farther behind the group of three.
Last Loop Decision
The group was tightly knotted as they came to the prone stage; Bilanenko finished first while Yaroshenko passed Hurajt. Nothing changed after the final standing stage, as the Ukrainian left with a 13 second gap over Russian rival. However, it seemed that Bilanenko had miscalculated his strength when compared to the speedy Yaroshenko. The Russian passed him easily and pulled away for a 9.8 second margin of victory and the World Championship title. The Ukrainian maintained a 54 second gap over Slovakia who took the Bronze medal ahead of the Czech Republic in fourth.
The Russian victory gave them a sweep in the Mixed relay as they had earlier captured the Junior title. The World Championships continue on Saturday with the Sprint competitions.