HomeTag Erzurum World Junior/U23 Championships

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At 5,700 feet above sea level, the Kandilli Nordic Ski Center in Erzurum, Turkey has presented World Junior competitors with some of the most painful racing they’ve ever experienced. As became clear from the depth of Russia’s dominant results—a team that took a two-week altitude camp in Bulgaria prior this week’s racing—acclimation to altitude has played a major role in the outcome of World Juniors and U23s, for all levels of athletes. In more than...

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ERZURUM, Turkey — Before Saturday’s 15 k skiathlon began, gold had eluded Norway at the Junior/U23 World Championships. The team repeatedly stressed that the week that the learning experience was more valuable than the hardware, but athletes and team staff alike nonetheless seemed hungry for the wins they are used to. Martine Ek Hagen (NOR) finally delivered in the skiathlon, skiing a strong skate leg in the second half to win by 13.9 seconds over...

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ERZURUM, Turkey — With his third gold medal of the week in Friday’s 20 k skiathlon, Sergey Ustiugov (RUS) has taken on the aura of a new Russian ski star being born. A Norwegian duo took the early lead and briefly appeared to finally have the energy to disrupt Russia’s dominance of this week, but Ustiugov soon took over and, together with compatriot Artem Maltsev (RUS), Russia once again took the top two spots on...

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ERZURUM, Turkey—In a come-from-behind performance, Nika Razinger (SLO) shocked herself, her coaches, and her competitors with a 7.8-second win in the 10 k skiathlon at Junior World Championships on Friday. “This is a big surprise,” said Razinger after the flower ceremony, unable to contain her happiness. “It is unbelievable!” Razinger and her coaches had been expecting top-10s from her, at best. Razinger headlined an impressive 1-2-4 performance for Slovenia. Lea Einfalt (SLO) claimed silver and...

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  If there’s one takeaway from the Junior and U23 World Championships thus far, it’s that Russia is a well-oiled machine. Evgeniy Belov (RUS) won his country its sixth gold medal of the week on Thursday, ahead of Noah Hoffman (USA) in second and Hannes Dotzler (GER) in third. Based on Belov’s delight on the podium, the run of success isn’t getting old. “I cannot express how happy I am today when I defended the...