It was a busy day at the Nordic Heritage Center, as the first competition of the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships were held today… Rene Cloukey has a recap.
It was a windy day on the range for the competitors. The Youth Men’s and Women’s Races were held and just one athlete shot clean throughout the day. Maine Winter Sports Center’s Maddie Phaneuf hit all ten targets and finished fourth in what she says was her best performance ever on the range
Phaneuf:”That was awesome. The first time I ever shot clean in any competitions. It was really surprising and it was really windy and I was really happy with my performance.”
Seth Hubbard is her Maine Winter Sports Center Coach and was very proud of her performance.
Hubbard:” We are amazingly excited with the news yesterday and then this. Where she has been able to get to this quickly is just incredible.
Lisa Vittozzi of Italy won the women’s sprint, Anna Weidel of Germany was second and Julia Simon of France was third. It’s Weidel first medal at an International Competition
Weidel :” Of course I am happy. This is the first time I have been in America and first time I am participating in the Youth World Championships so I am extremely happy.”
On the Men’s side Sean Doherty didn’t shoot well, but skied very fast. He missed four targets but still took the gold medal by one second over Marco Gross of Germany, Dmitrii Shamaev of Russia was third
Doherty:” Skiing shape is feeling awesome. I am really bummed to have four misses. That is a few to many in my opinion, but I did it with skiing instead of the shooting today and the result was good enough.”
Kamran Husain of Fort Kent competed in his first International Competition. He finished in 43rd spot.
Husain:” At the beginning I missed four that might have been just nerves but I came together in the standing. I only missed one and I feel I learned a lot from this.”
Doherty who medaled at last years World Championships was the pre race favorite for gold and he said that might have put a little extra pressure on him.
Doherty:” I certainly was not trying to think of the outcome that could possibly be today when I was racing. Knowing what I did last year gives me some high expectations for these races this weekend. Trying to avoid that pressure but still felt some.