Tag Archives: Junior European Championships Pokljuka 2016

Junior Open Euro Champs 2016!

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Viktar Kryuko

The Junior Open European Championships were held in Pokljuka, Slovenia and were another chance for the Junior biathletes to get some competition practice and some more Championship experience.

The first race was the Men’s Individual and was won by Viktar Kryuko from Belarus. He missed 1 target and finished 1 minute 15 second ahead of second place. The silver medal went to Anton Dudchenko of Ukraine who also missed just 1 target with bronze medal going to Kazakhstan’s Roman Yeremin who shot 18/20.

In the Women’s Individual Ukrainian Anastasiya Merkushyna took gold by 35 seconds shooting 20/20. Silver went to Germany’s Christin Maier who also shot 20/20 but couldn’t match the ski pace of the winner. The bronze medal went to Lena Arnaud of France who missed 1 target and was only 49 seconds behind first place which means that one shot cost her the chance of the gold medal.

Friday was a rest day after the Individual races and so we waited until Saturday for the Sprints. In the Men’s race Viktar Kryuko claimed double gold by winning again. He missed 2 targets but still managed to ski fast enough to win by 2.6 seconds. Winning the silver medal was Germany’s Dominic Reiter who shot 10/10 but wasn’t fast enough on the skis to get gold. Bronze also went to Germany with David Zobel.

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Lena Arnaud

In the Women’s race Lena Arnaud added gold to her bronze medal from the Individual. She shot 10/10 to win by 23.4 seconds. Silver medal went to her teammate Chloe Chevalier who missed 2 targets and shooting clear to win bronze was Christin Maier.

The final 2 races were the Pursuits. Moving up from third and taking gold was David Zobel.He missed 2 shots but won by a comfortable margin of 27 seconds. The silver medal went to France’s Emilien Jacquelin who after finishing the first 2 races in 5th place finally made it on to the podium. The bronze medal was won by Anton Dudchenko.

The Women’s race was won by Julia Simon of France who came from fifth to win by 21 seconds. The silver medal went to the Sprint winner Lena Arnaud and Christin Maier retained her third place start to get another bronze medal.

That concludes the Open European Championships for the Juniors. France, Germany and the Ukraine took most of the medals and Kazakhstan got 1 too. Viktar Kryuko was the star winning 2 gold medals for Belarus and Lena Arnaud got gold,silver and bronze for France. That’s it for the Juniors this season but it was good to see them getting their own World Cup rounds as well as the World and European Championships to help them gain experience to hopefully move on to the IBU Cup and eventually the World Cup! Remember where you read about them first though – on Biathlon23!

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Felix Leitner: The Interview!

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Felix Leitner is an Austrian biathlete born in Hall in Tirol on the 31st of December 1996. He recently competed in the Youth/Junior World Championships in Cheile Gradistei where he won gold in the Individual and Sprint races and bronze in the Pursuit. These were his first races in the Junior category but he already has a gold and silver medal in the Youth category in the Pursuit and Sprint from Raubichi last season.

You won double gold in Cheile Gradistei in your first World Championships as a Junior. How did you feel? Did you expect to do well or was it a bit surprising?

I felt really great. I knew that I was in good shape in running and I also felt good at the shooting range so I expected one or maybe two medals. But, I did not expect that I would be so successful.

Can you describe the races? Did you have any plan before the start about how you wanted to race?

In the Individual I was really nervous because I did not know how I should pace my race, but I did it really well. Instead at the shooting range I had an awesome feeling, that I would shoot 0 mistakes. I was really safe.
In the Sprint competition (my favourite competition) I knew that I could also win with 1 mistake, so I was not insecure after my shooting mistake in the standing. The last loop was really hard but I gave everything I had.
The Pursuit was really hard for me. I am not used to having so many races in such a short time. But because of my shooting I could get a medal again.
In the relay I absolutely wanted to exchange as first. My running was great but I had some problems on the shooting range (+3 shots).

Did you set any goals before you went to Romania and did you achieve them?

My goals were 1-2 medals. I totally achieved it.. 🙂

You have raced on the IBU Cup this season and you were 10th in the Sprint in Nove Mesto. What was that race like? Did it help you to prepare for the Junior World Championships?

The first day in Nove Mesto was super. I like that course.
I needed some races for the YJWCH, but it also was really important for my self-confidence.

What are your plans for the rest of the season? What are your goals for next year?

Just now I don’t know what my next races are, but my next big goal for this season is the Junior European Championships in Pokljuka. I want to fight for medals again.
My goal for next season is to get better and better, and then we will see.

Why did you become a biathlete and why do you like the sport?

My brother is a ski jumper and in the same club they also had biathletes so I tried it and I still love it. I enjoy it probably because of the mix of running and shooting.

Do you combine sport with your education or are you concentrating only on biathlon at the present?

At the moment I go to school at Schigymnasium in Stams. But I am in the last class and I will be happy when I can only focus on sport.

Does your rifle have a name?

No name for my rifle no.

Describe yourself in three words.

Love my friends!

Quick fire Questions:

Favourite biathlon track: HOCHFILZEN
Favourite biathlete (past or present): LANDERTINGER, BJOERNDALEN, FOURCADE
Favourite event (sprint, pursuit etc): SPRINT
Favourite/best race of your career so far? INDIVIDUAL YJWCH 2016
Favourite food: PASTA (RECHEIS)
Favourite sports team: TG FLOX
Favourite TV show: CIRCUS HALLI GALLI

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