The individual competition was held on Tuesday. No penalty loops, but a minute penalty for each missed target.
Shooting is key in the Individual Competition. The biathletes having one minute added for each target missed. Julia Schwaiger of Austria was the only competitor to shoot clean in the women’s race.
“It’s the key of success and yes I didn’t expect that,” said Schwaiger. “I am able to do this and it worked.”
Schwaiger claimed the gold winning by a minute five over double gold medalist Lisa Vittozzi of Italy, Lilyia Davletshina of Russia was third.
Schwaiger added, “It’s amazing a dream. Didn’t expect it so it is amazing yes.”
Maddie Phaneuf of the United States continued with a very strong performance in her first International Competition. Phaneuf shot clean in the third prone stage and then came into the range for the final standing where she missed two targets.
“I was just hoping I wouldn’t totally blow out my whole race in last shooting,” said Phaneuf. “So only two misses is pretty good.”
She said that it was another cold day to compete, but she didn’t think it felt as cold as some of the other races this week. Phaneuf has had a great week of competition and is very pleased with her performance.
“It’s been awesome,” said Phaneuf. “I never thought I’d be this competitive in this field. It’s an experience I have never experienced before so I am really happy with how it’s been going.”
The Youth men’s race taking place in the afternoon, as USA’s Sean Doherty and Germany’s Marco Gross were the favorites to medal in the competition.
Both athletes shot clean in the first stage of prone shooting… But in the next three stages, Doherty missed a total of four targets, while Gross missed five. Doherty’s speed on the course though helped him pull ahead of the others and cross the finish line holding onto first with some competitors still on course. It came down to one of the last skiers to come in… And it was Russia’s Yaroslav Kostyukov who finished 6.3 seconds ahead of Doherty for the gold medal.
“It’s been going tremendously well and today to miss it by such a small amount- ya know it’s close, but I’m still really happy,” said Doherty.
It was still quite a feat for Doherty who grabbed his third medal of the World Junior Championships at a place he’s enjoying competing at.
“I’ve definitely grown to like the area,” said Doherty. “Sure I wish it was warmer and sure I wish the wind was a little less maybe but it’s fun to race at home, in the home country, so I certainly like it here.”