This past weekend, Summer Biathlon World Championships (SBWCH) took place in Cheile Gradistei, Romania, a resort town 180 kilometers from Bucharest, the capital of the country. The races began on Friday with a mixed relay, continued on Saturday with a sprint, and wrapped up on Sunday with a pursuit.
Friday’s competitions started with excellent weather; the sun was out and the temperature was warm. However, by the time the senior competition started, winds began sweeping across the shooting range, affecting the accuracy of the competitors.
The Russian team of Ekaterina Avvakumova, Olga Kalina, Sergey Klyachin and Sergey Korastylev was able to persevere through the tough shooting conditions to get the win. The team took the lead on the last leg when Korastylev needed only two spare rounds during standing to pass his competition, which were picking up penalties. Bulgaria took second on the day, 26.8 seconds behind the Russian team and Romania rounded out the podium in third, 38.6 seconds back from the winners.
In Saturday’s sprint race, Ukraine’s Olga Abramova claimed the victory for the women with the Polish duo of Monika Hojnisz and Magdalena Gwizdon taking second and third. In the men’s race, Bulgarian Iliev Vladimir crossed the line first followed by Artem Pryma of Ukraine in second and Martin Otcenas from Slovakia in third.
For the pursuit race on Sunday, the wind yet again picked up. However, it did not deter Saturday’s winner, Abramova, from winning the women’s race despite five penalties. She was yet again followed by Hojnisz who claimed second despite having seven penalties. Hojnisz finished 52.7 seconds behind the winner. Rounding out the podium in third was Ukrainian Juliya Dzhyma who had only two penalties on the day and was 1:09.7 behind the winner.
In the men’s race, Otcenas was able to shoot pretty well on his way to victory, picking up only four penalties. Pryma also had only four penalties on his way to second place in the pursuit, 28.6 seconds behind Otcenas. Finishing in third was Matej Kazar of Slovakia who was able to ski strong despite having five penalties to claim the final spot on the podium, 42 seconds back. Saturday’s winner Vladimir struggled on the range in the pursuit, getting seven penalties and falling down to sixth place.
Meanwhile in the junior race, Romanian Marius Ungureanu claimed his nation’s first-ever gold medal at the championships.