In August of this year, Julia Tchepalova denied a rumor regarding her switch to biathlon. Her partner, Vassili Rotchev, confirmed that Julia would continue her cross-country skiing career. What about the saying â€œin every rumor there is a little bit of truthâ€? According to latest news reports, Tchepalova has been practicing shooting for the last couple of months and participated in her first biathlon test-race last weekend.
As a repeated Gold medal winner at World Championships and Olympics, Tchepalova sat out last year’s racing season in order to give birth to her second daughter. With her father’s coaching help, she has been training separately from the National Team this year.
The Russian Biathlon team was in Kontiolahti. In the men’s 10k race, Sergei Rozhkov (RUS) won by over a minute ahead of Alexei Aidarov (UKR) who had to ski the penalty loop twice. In the women’s race, Svetlana Sleptsova, a multiple World Junior Champion, won with no missed targets ahead of Lilia Efremova from Ukraine who missed three.
Tchepalova skied her biathlon debut and ended up 11th. The shooting, with four missed targets out of ten, went ok for her. However, she was over four minutes behind the winner of the race.