PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Austria’s Julia Schwaiger captured her country’s first medal of the games when she won the youth women’s individual 10-kilometer race during the International Biathlon Union Youth/Junior World Championships Tuesday at the Nordic Heritage Center.
Competitors battled single-digit temperatures as the women’s morning event was pushed back an hour due to low temperatures.
Wednesday’s events will also start an hour later due to low temperatures with the junior women individual competition beginning at 11 a.m. and the junior men starting at 1:45 p.m.
On Tuesday, Schwaiger notched a clean shooting day and covered the 10K course in 32 minutes, 58.7 seconds in a field of 55 finishers.
“This was my first time ever that I shot clean in any competition. I felt no pressure before the competition and never thought about it while it was happening,” Schwaiger told www4.biathlonworld.com. “I never expected to win the gold medal.”
Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi captured her third medal of the games with a second-place finish as she finished 1:05.7 back with two penalties. Russia’s Liliya Davletshina placed third, 1:25.9 back with two penalties.
In the 12.5K men’s race, Russia’s Yaroslav Kostyukov had the fewest penalties, two, and that proved to be the difference. He went on to win the gold medal with a time of 35:22.6 in the 63-man field.
U.S. competitor Sean Doherty captured the silver medal for his third medal of the games as he was only 6.3 seconds back but with four penalties. Third-place finisher Emilien Jacquelin finished 43.9 seconds back with three penalties.
Kostyukov was focused on the day’s competition.
“Last night, I went to bed and tried to forget about everything before. I woke up refreshed and ready to win,” he told www4.biathlonworld.com. “Before the competition, I spoke to my father, and he told me to focus on the tracks and shooting range. I did that, and I won.”
For fans attending the games, there is a heated spectator tent at the venue that people can visit to warm up, as well as purchase food, beverages and souvenirs.