Germany, Russia, and USA in BT/CC Mixed Relay
|21.01.2012, Seefeld / IBU Info TO|
|Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck|
|Germany won the new biathlon/cross-country mixed relay at the first Youth Olympic Winter Games. Franziska Preuss, Victoria Carl, Maximilian Janke and Christian Stiebritz needed 1:04:23.4 with one penalty and 6 spare rounds to take the Gold. Silver went to Russia with two penalties and nine spares, 59.1 seconds back. The US team won bronze after an exciting sprint to the finish line. The US athletes avoided the penalty loop but needed 5 spares and were 59.6 seconds back.|
Biathlon and Cross-Country
The first combined competition of biathletes and cross-country skiers was exciting and the strong snowfall, which has been coming down for the second day in a row, did not make it easy for the young athletes. In the biathlon and cross-country mixed relay, first a female biathlete completed a leg like in a regular mixed relay, and then a female cross-country skier took over and ran a 2K loop twice. She handed over to a male biathlete that ran a leg like in a biathlon mixed relay before handing over for a male cross-country skier for the last two loops of 2.5K.
Biathletes Mix the Field
Franziska Preuss for Germany took the lead, followed by Czech Republic and Norway, the only athletes who did not need a spare during the first prone stage. On the track, Preuss already put some distance between herself and her competitors with Victoria Carl extending it further. Norway in second place was followed by Austria. Then, the field was thoroughly mixed by the male biathletes. German Maximilian Janke brought back some excitement when he shot a penalty. He explained, “My gloves were so wet from the snow that my fingers were icy cold and I could hardly feel the trigger point. Putting the spare bullets in was very difficult as well and I was quite shaky at the range today.”
However, the German was lucky because the next competitor, Andre Kristian Aalerud from Norway accumulated three penalties. Ivan Galushkin from Russia and Sean Doherty from USA followed the German, who hit all the targets in standing with two extra rounds and handed over to Christian Stiebritz with a significant lead.
USA and Russia Battle
Behind him, an exciting fight between Russia and the USA ensued. While the US team handed over to cross- country skier Patrick Caldwell in second position, Alexander Selyaninov closed the gap during the first lap. He beat the American in the sprint to the finish line and only by 0.5 seconds. Caldwell explained, “I was holding on but he put a great move on during the last uphill. We all are very happy to win this medal and it is special to win it as a team.”
Russia’s Uliana Kysheva was a bit down after her leg because she had to run a penalty loop after each of her shooting stages but then was happy about the Silver medal. “I am happy that my teammates could pull this off and that we won the Silver medal. I was not at my best today but these days happen.”
Youth/ Junior WCH
Now that the young athletes got an idea of where they stand in comparison to their fellow athletes, many of them will meet again in only a few short weeks in Kontiolahti, Finland. The IBU Youth and Junior World Championships will take place there in February. Now, many of them said they plan to celebrate together and tomorrow they plan to attend the Closing Ceremonies of these games together.