The final Ridanna European Championship titles go to Norway and Ukraine 

Pdruchnyi Pryma Varvynets Zhurakov OECH Biathlon Ridnaun 28 01 2018 250

Ridanna, 28 January 2018 - The Biathlon European Championships in Ridanna concluded on Sunday with the two Relay competitions. In the Individual Mixed Relay the Norwegian duo became the new European Champions, in the Mixed Relay the 4 athletes from the Ukraine were unstoppable. The Italians were nowhere near the fight for medals in either of the races.   


In an exciting Individual Mixed competition Norway had the most stamina and secured the Gold ahead of France and Russia. The duo consisting of Thekla Brun-Lie and Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen was on course for a medal through the race, but only took the lead after the one but last shooting. Last runner Christiansen defended the team's place in the sun to the finish line and secured Norway's victory with a time of 35,39.6 minutes. 


Behind Norway Emilien Jacquelin clinched the second place for France in the final sprint. Jacquelin, who with his partner Julia Simon had been in the lead until the last changeover, overtook American Lowell Bailey in the last few meters and confirmed the Silver medal for France. Bailey and Susan Dunklee won European Championship Bronze. The team that made its name in the World Cup was able to start in Ridanna because the Biathlon European Championships are Open Championships which allows non-European athletes to be included in the overall rankings.  


The Italian Individual Mixed Team had to content with a place outside the top ten.  Ginevra Rocchia and Rudy Zini from Piedmont consistently lost time throughout the race. One penalty circuit and eleven reloads saw them finish in 14th place. In the  end the two Italians finished  2,07.6 minutes after the Norwegian team. 


Ukraine triumphs in the Mixed Relay


In the Mixed Relay the Ukrainian team secured victory. The 4 Eastern European athletes took the lead in the third round and defended this position to the end of the race. Final runner Dmytro Pidruchnyi kept his nerves in the final round, only had 2 reloads during two shooting sessions, and so  secured Ukrainian victory. 


The Silver medal went to the Russian relay team. The team headed up by superstar Evgeniy Garanichev fought for Gold right up to the final shoot, but after three reloads by final runner Alexander Loginov, there was "only" second place for the team. The final team on the podium were the Norwegians. The Scandinavians fought an exciting duel with the French relay team, which was finally won by Norwegian Fredrik Gjesbakk against Simon Fourcade . Thus Norway was able to celebrate two medals on the last day of the competition in Ridanna. 



Italians crashed after a strong start


The Italian team experienced a relay competition of two halves. With 20 hits the two South Tyroleans Alexia Runggaldier and Karin Oberhofer brought their team in perfect position, but Saverio Zini and Pietro Dutto were not able to keep pace with the best runners and were pushed further and further back in the course of the race. In the end, the Italians, who had still been in third place at the second changeover, had to contend with eleventh place.  



Results Individual Mixed Relay


1. Norway 35,39.6 minutes / 0+6 reloads

Thekla Brun-Lie & Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen

2. France +8.6 / 0+11

Julia Simon & Emilien Jacquelin

3. USA +9.1 / 0+10

Susan Dunklee & Lowell Bailey

4. Estonia +24.1 / 0+8

Regina Oja & Rene Zahkna

5. Russia +27.5 / 0+9

Kristina Reztsova & Alexey Volkov


14. Italy +2,36.4 / 1+11

Ginevra Rocchia & Rudy Zini



Results Mixed Relay


1. Ukraine 1:11,40 hours / 0+6 reloads

Yuliia Zhuravok, Iryna Varvynets, Artem Pryma, Dmytro Pidruchnyi

2. Russia +11.7 / 0+9

Victoria Slivko, Anastasia Zagoruiko, Evgeniy Garanichev, Alexander Loginov

3. Norway +33.2 / 0+4

Emilie Aagheim Kalkenber, Kaia Woeien Nicolaisen, Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit, Fredrik Gjesbakk

4. France +39.6 / 0+11

Enora Latuilliere, Chloé Chevalier, Fabien Claude, Simon Fourcade

5. Czech Republic +1,19.2 / 0+9

Veronika Zvaricova, Daniela Kadeva, Matej Krupcik, Tomas Krupcik


11. Italy +2,46.0 / 1+8

Alexia Runggaldier, Karin Oberhofer, Saverio Zini, Pietro Dutto



Comments on the Individual Mixed Relay: 


Thekla Brun-Lie & Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen (Norway, Gold): Just like at the last European Championships we did not succeed this year in the individual competitions. Now we finally have our first medal, and a Gold! What counted was our good performance in the shooting range. We also benefited from one or the other error by the French - otherwise we would probably have ended up in second place. 


Julia Simon & Emilien Jacquelin (France, Silver): We went into the race full of concentration and motivation. We didn't shoot badly in Ridanna so far, but today it just didn't work out as well. The Individual Mixed Relay is a fantastic competition which we are both good at.


Lowell Bailey & Susan Dunklee (USA, Bronze): We both struggled to get into this season. We started here in Ridanna to work our way towards high level competitions again. We are very happy with the Bronze.


Comments on the Mixed Relay:


Zhuravok, Varvynets, Pryma & Pidruchnyi (Ukraine, Gold): 

We were sluggish early on because we struggled a little with the conditions here. During the course of the race we improved consistently and gained one position after the other. We owe our victory to the team's strong performance in the shooting range.


Victoria Slivko & Evgeniy Garanichev (Russia, Silver):

After this strenuous week we really noticed how tired we were today. We nevertheless gave our best and we are happy with our result - even if it wasn't enough for first place.  


Emilie Aagheim Kalkenberg & Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit (Norway, Bronze): 

Today we had to give our best in both Relay races, because we were unable to impress in the individual competitions. And we achieved this - in the Individual Mixed Relay and in the Mixed Relay. Yesterday we and our team of coaches analysed our shooting and that really made the difference. 

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