Gold for Bulgaria
|27.01.2012, Osrblie / IBU Info TO|
|IBU OECH Biathlon in Osrblie|
|The second Gold medal of the IBU Open European Championships Biathlon went to Bulgarian athlete Niya Dimitrova. She won the junior women’s 7.5K sprint today with clean shooting in 21:09.3. Second place went to Iryna Varvynets of Ukraine with one penalty, 15.1 seconds back. Bronze went to Elisa Gasparin of Switzerland with one penalty, 29.1 seconds back.|
The junior women’s sprint competition was just exciting as the junior men’s. Dimitrova started with number 9 and took an early lead. However, Olga Podchufarova of Russia was ahead of the Bulgarian through the standing stage. Yet on the last lap, she could not keep up with Dimitrova and several other strong skiers, eventually dropping back to fourth place.
Good Shooting and Skiing
Dimitrova was beaming in the finish. Her victory is her best result at any IBU competition to date. The Bulgarian has been training and competing in E.ON IBU World Cup competitions for three years where she was 46th in the Hochfilzen sprint this winter. Today she explained, “I shot well today and skied well. For Sunday, I don’t have any tactics but to shoot and ski well. Of course I would like to win again but second place would also be okay.”
Second place went to Iryna Varvynets who missed one standing shot today. She was close to the podium at several individual competitions at the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships and the IBU Open European Championships last year but never managed to jump onto the podium.
Looking Forward to These Competitions
Third place went to Gasparin who was the fastest of four athletes who all finished within 10 seconds of each other because she seemed to have the most power on the last loop. She explained, “I was really looking forward to the competitions here. I trained very well this summer and after I had some problems with the shooting I am very happy that I only missed one today.” Elisa Gasparin is the younger sister of Swiss World Cup athlete Selina Gasparin. The youngest Gasparin-sister, Aita, competed in biathlon at the Youth Olympic Winter Games last week. Elisa commented about her biathlon family, “We dream about an Olympic Relay with three Gasparin girls.” Laughing, she added, “Too bad that Mom and Dad did not have four girls.”
Fourth place went to Olga Podchufarova of Russia, 32.9 seconds back just 1.4 seconds ahead of Anais Chevalier of France. Both athletes shot clean. Sixth place went to Olga Galich of Russia with one penalty, 35.3 seconds back.
The senior athletes take the stage at these OECH tomorrow with the men’s 10K sprint at 10:00 and the women’s 7.5K sprint at 13:00. Both competitions will be broadcast live on Eurosport.