Leitner and Chevalier are the first European Champions in Ridanna

Runggaldier Chevalier Slivko OECH Ridnaun Individual women 24 01 2018 250

Ridanna, 24 January 2018 - The first day of the Biathlon European Championships in Ridanna started on Wednesday with the individual event. Winner among the men (20 km) was Austrian Felix Leitner, first among the women was triumphant Chloe Chevalier from France. Italian Alexia Runggaldier from Val Gardena also made it to the podium - she won Silver.         


Felix Leitner confidently won the men's individual race in the morning. The 21-year old from Mils near Hall was one of the fastest of the 111 biathletes taking part. With one penalty shot the 2016 Junior World Champion won the individual race with a time of 53,32.8 minutes. "I have simply tried to show what I am capable of. Today I succeeded and I am totally overjoyed. Today numerous Olympic medallists were at the start, and biathletes who have had successful World Championships. But I didn't think about it", Leitner commented at the official press conference. 


Tomas Krupcik from the Czech Republic finished in second place. The 30-year old from Vrchlabi, whose previous best result was a 19th place in the World Cup, was 43 seconds slower than Leitner. "This morning I felt really unwell. I would never have believed that this could be my day. But I felt better and better as the race wore on, and when I had reached the finish, I knew that it was a good day", explained Krupcik who came in 13.6 seconds ahead of third placed Philipp Horn from Germany. Like Leitner and Krupcik, Horn scored one missed shot. "After the two top ten results at the last IBU Cup, my aim was to keep going like this. I like Ridanna, I like this route and I like the shooting range, which is surely one of the most difficult ones in the whole tour. The European Championships medal is definitely the result of all the hard work in the summer", the Bronze medallist commented. 


The best Italian was  Rudy Zini who came in in 25th place with a time of 3,39.8 minutes - just ahead of top stars Jean Guillaume Beatrix (France), who missed four standing shots, and Alexey Volkov from Russia, who also missed three times. The only South Tyrolean at the start, Andreas Plaickner from Anterselva, missed 5 shots and finished in 91st place.


Chevalier irresistible on skis


For the women, the new Individual European Champion is Chloe Chevalier. Despite one shooting error, the French biathlete impressed with a fantastic performance on cross country skis in 46,32.9 minutes. The 22-year old already stood on the podium in this year's IBU Cup in Lenzerheide and in Brezno-Osrblie. "The error in the first shooting was probably necessary to shake me awake. After that I gave my best and I only really thought about the task ahead and not the possible result. That I saved my first victory for the European Championships is obviously fantastic", the new European Champion commented.  


The Silver medal went to a South Tyrolean athlete. Alexia Runggaldier made no errors in the shooting range, but ended up finishing 47.7 minutes behind Chevalier. For the 26-year old from  St Christina, who returned to the World Cup in Anterselva after a break due to illness, the participation in the European Championships are the perfect preparation for the Olympic Games. The South Tyrolean skier was delighted with her second place. "As regard the shooting, I am extremely happy, regarding the racing I just need to have a little more patience. But I'm noticing that my fitness is improving day by day. To stand on the podium before a home crowd is always really special. It was special last year in Anterselva and it is special now here in Ridanna. I will also start in the mixed relay of these European Championships on Sunday", Runggaldier stated. 


The bronze medal went to the Russian Victoria Slivko, who lost 55.9 seconds on Chevalier and who finished without any errors. "The European Championships are very important to me. That's why I have spent last month preparing myself specifically for the title fights here in Ridanna. I have had to fight hard for this medal because I had to make up so much time. When I reached the finish, I was overjoyed that I made it", Slivko explained.   


The best Individual German biathlete was Nadine Horchler who finished in seventh place. The 31-year old from Mittenwald hit all 20 discs. Karin Oberhofer from Velturno finished a respectable 17th following three errors. A total of 92 women had been at the start. 

Individual Results Men (20 km):

1. Felix Leitner AUT 53,32.8 minutes/1 missed shot

2. Tomas Krupcik CZE +43.0/1

3. Philipp Horn GER +56.6/1

4. Krasimir Anev BUL +1,00.9/2

5. Martin Otcenas SVK +1,25.3/2

6. Dzmitry Abasheu BLR +1,31.8/1


Individual Results Women (15 km): 

1. Chloe Chevalier FRA 46,32.9 minutes/1 shooting error

2. Alexia Runggaldier ITA/St. Christina +47.7/0

3. Victoria Slivko RUS +55.,9/0

4. Yuliia Zhurakov UKR +56.,4/0

5. Iryna Varvynets UKR +1,07.6/1

6. Svetlana Mironova RUS +1,26.0/3



Biathlon European Championships - 22 to 28 January 2018


Competition programme: 

Thursday, 25 January: Official training

Friday, 26 January: Sprint Men (11:00 am), Sprint Women (2:00 pm)

Saturday, 27 January: Pursuit Men (1:00 pm), Pursuit Women (3:00 pm)

Sunday, 28 January: Individual Mixed Relay (1:00 pm), Mixed Relay (3:00 pm)



Supporting programme:

Friday, 26 January 2018:

10:00 am - 7:00 pm Entertainment in the marquee with DJ

11:00 am: Awards ceremony Sprint races in the marquee

From approx. 8:30 pm: LIVE Band "Die  Stockhiatla"

Saturday, 27 January 2018: 

10:00 am - 12:00 noon early morning get-together for a drink in the stadium

12:00 noon + 2:00 pm: Great fashion parade "Snow White and Fashion"

3:00 pm. -  7:00 pm. Entertainment in the marquee with DJ

11:00 am:  Awards ceremony Pursuit races

From approx. 8:30 pm: LIVE band - "ELCHOS"

Sunday, 28 January 2018: 

10:00 am -  5:00 pm: Entertainment in the marquee with DJ

Approx. 17.00 Closing ceremony of the Biathlon European Championships




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