Youth World Champs: Otepaa 2018!

After all the biathlon pensioners took part in the Winter Olympics it was time for the youths to shine at the Youth World Championships in Otepaa, Estonia.

It was a cold start for the first two races, the women’s and men’s Individuals. Sweden’s Elvira Oberg won the women’s race on her 19th birthday. She is the younger sister of Hanna and now they both have a gold medal so there should be no fighting at the Oberg residence! She hit 19/20 to win by 35 seconds. Russian Anastasiya Shevchenko took the silver medal with 18/20 and the bronze went to her teammate Anastasiia Goreeva who hit 17/20.

In the men’s race Mikhail Pervushin won the gold medal also with 19/20. The 19-year-old Russian beat Norway’s Filip Andersen by 12 seconds. Andersen also hit 19/20 to take the silver ahead of the amazingly named Frenchman Martin Bourgeois Republique who hit 18/20 to win bronze.

It was still freezing on Wednesday for the relays. The women’s race went down to the line with a sprint finish between Sweden and Finland. It was Elvira Oberg who won it giving Sweden the gold and making it a golden double for her. Along with teammates Amanda Lundstroem and Ella Halvarsson they needed just 6 spares on the range. The Finnish team of Jenni Keranen, Kaisa Keranen and Heidi Nikkinen went on the penalty loop twice. Bronze went to Norway with a team of Marte Johansen, Sigrid Vig and Juni Arnekleiv who also went two times around the penalty loop.

In the men’s race it was Russia who took the gold with Denis Tashtimerov, Andrei Viukhin and Mikhail Pervushin despite two penalty loops. It meant double gold for Pervushkin too. The Czech team took the silver with just 7 spares needed by Vitezslav Hornig, Tomas Mikyska and Mikulas Karlik. The bronze went to Norway’s team of Eirik Gerhardsen, Martin Alfheim and Filip Andersen.

The Sprint races took place on Friday and it was treble gold for our two young champions Elvira Oberg and Mikhail Pervushkin. Oberg missed 1 shot but still managed to win by 13 seconds. Silver went to Heidi Nikkinen also with 1 missed target. A clean shoot won Amanda Lundstroem the bronze.

Pervushkin won his third gold with 10/10 on the range and a 21 second lead to take into the Pursuit. Silver went to Italy’s Tommaso Giacomel who also shot clean. The bronze went to Vitezslav Hornig who had 1 miss.

The final races were the Pursuits on Sunday. None of the medallists from the women’s sprint could hold on to their places and the gold medal went to Anastasiia Goreeva who started 4th. Despite missing 3 targets she took the win by 17.5 seconds. With just 1 miss Germany’s Franziska Pfnuer came from 14th to win the silver medal and the bronze went to Amy Baserga of Switzerland. She came from 16th hitting 18/20 to finish third.

The men’s pursuit was a clean sweep for Russia. Andrei Viukhin went from 7th to 1st even though he missed 4 targets. He knocked teammate Mikhail Pervushkin off the top of the podium for the first time this week. He had to settle for silver after also missing 4 shots. The bronze went to Aleksei Ogorelkov who hit 18/20 and went from 12th to 3rd.

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