PRESQUE ISLE — The Russian national anthem was popular Saturday at the IBU Biathlon Youth/JuniorWorld Championships at the Nordic Heritage Center.
Russians won both the men’s 10-kilometer sprint and women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint, though in different fashions.
Alexander Povarnitsyn skied fast to the men’s gold medal, beating Norway’s Tore Leren by 13.4 seconds. Russia’s Evgeniya Pavlova edged Galina Vishnevskaya of Kazzakhstan by three-tenths of a second to win women’s gold.
In the men’s race Leren had a clean shoot, hitting all of his targets, while Povarnitsyn missed one target in the standing position. But Povarnitsyn skied very fast and won in 25:45.8. Leren finished in 25:59.2.
“I knew it would be hard to beat him,” said Leren.
Russia also took third as Eduard Latypov finished in 26:02.3, just ahead of France’s Claude Fabien, the defending gold medalist who finshed in 26:03.6.
Tyler Gustafson was the top American finisher, in 43rd in 29:21.6.
In the women’s race, Pavlova finished in 21:08.5 and then had to sweat out Vishnevskaya’s finish.
“I was very nervous,” said the 20-year-old Pavlova. “I was just praying she was not going to catch up with me.”
And she couldn’t.
“Up until the very last second I thought I could do it,” said Vishnevskaya, who finished in 21:08.8. “I missed by that much. It is disappointing.”
There was only one other competitor to shoot a clean 10 for 10: American Kelsey Dickinson.
When she finished, in 23:25.5, she was in fourth position. She would eventually finish 22nd.
“It was just fun to be out here on a course that’s our own turf,” she said. “I had absolutely no expectations. I just wanted to ski my own race.
“I was just thinking about the process. I had no goals in place. I was just happy to be here”