The Youth World Championships kicked off on the 26th of January with the Individual races. The men raced first and despite 3 misses Norway’s Martin Nevland was crowned the champion. He skied exceptionally well to beat the French pair Damien Levet and Eric Perrot into silver and bronze. Levet hit 19/20 and Perrot 18/20.
In the women’s race it was the perfect start for the Swiss team racing at their home venue with Lea Meier taking the gold. She hit 18/20 to keep her ahead of Italy’s Rebecca Passler and Austria’s Anna Gandler who both hit 17/20.
After a day off it was the relays on Tuesday the 28th. The youth relays are raced by teams of three and it was the Norwegian team of Martin Uldal, Morten Toernblad Sameien and Martin Nevland who took gold in the men’s race. They needed just 6 spares to beat the Czech team of Ondrej Manek, Josef Kabrda and Jonas Marecek into second. They needed 9 spares and the Russia team of Aleksei Zubarev, Oleg Domichek and Aleksei Kovalev used 10 to win bronze.
In the women’s relay it was Norway who were victorious again with the team of Tuva Aas Straete, Frida Dokken and Maren Bakken using just 5 spares to claim gold. In second place were Italy with Hannah Auchentaller, Linda Zingerle and Rebecca Passler using 10 spares and third went to the German team. Emilie Marie Behringer, Johanna Puff and Selina Marie Kastl needing just three spares to get the bronze medal.
Friday was Sprint day in Lenzerheide and it was a first youth gold medal for the Russia team at these Championships. Aleksei Kovalev was the winner hitting 10/10 and finishing 9 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. Ondrej Manek took the silver also hitting all ten targets and Maxime Germain from the USA grabbed the bronze with 9/10. A special mention goes to Campbell Wright from New Zealand who finished a brilliant 6th.
In the women’s race it was Italy who struck gold with Linda Zingerle. She missed 1 target but still took the win by 20 seconds. Second place and the silver medal went to Russia’s Liubov Kalinina who hit 10/10 and the bronze went to France with Oceane Michelon hitting 8/10.
The final races of the championships were the pursuits. For the men it was Martin Nevland who was crowned the champion moving from 4th to 1st hitting 19/20. Ondrej Manek held his second place to claim another silver with perfect shooting. The bronze went to Slovenia’s Lovro Planko who despite missing 3 shots still moved from 8th to complete the podium.
In the women’s race Austria’s Anna Gandler took the gold with 19/20 on the range but won the race on her skis finishing just 1.2 seconds ahead of France’s Camille Coupe. She also hit 19/20 to go from 8th to 2nd. Linda Zingerle missed 3 but still secured another medal taking bronze.
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