January 16, 2023 | at the FISU Winter University Games
The mixed biathlon relay on Monday ended with a clean and concise victory for the Czech duo of Tereza Jandova and Jakub Kocián, giving the delegation their second gold and fifth overall at the 2023 FISU World University Games in Lake Placid.
The winners finished in 37:25.3 minutes after four combined laps and shot attempts. The silver and bronze medalists were respectively Pauline Machut and Axel Garnier from France and Yuliia Horodna and Stepan Kinash from Ukraine.
The Czechs were the highest-ranked competitors in the race. Jandová won bronze in the women’s 12.5 km individual on Saturday, while Kocian finished fourth in the men’s 15 km. Jandová also previously won the Junior IBU Cup tournament in Pokljuka, Slovenia in January 2021.
“It’s a really tough track, but we had great skis, so it was easier,” Jandová said in an interview after her victory.
“Yes that [course] is far from what we are used to,” added Kocián.
The relay consists of four 1.5 km laps around the track and two opportunities to shoot at five targets. The prone target, which is shot at while prone, is the size of a golf ball. The standing target is the size of a CD.
During the first part of the first lap, Shilo Rousseau from Canada, the winner of the women’s 12.5 km individual race, overtook her rivals. It was during the first shootout that eventual winner Jandova secured the lead. Rousseau then spent part of the first lap tracking her.
The Czechs made the first exchange around 10 minutes while Kinash battled for second place with Kazakh Aleksandr Mukhin after his relay. Meanwhile, Kocián continued his streak, with his fourth shot clear.
The second Jandová-Kocián exchange took place at 16:45, during which Poland’s Anna N?dza-Kubiniec threw herself for a quick and momentary second.
Nearing the end of the race, Garnier rode directly into second place, challenged by Mukhin. At this point, the gold was in the bag for the Czech Republic. The real battle was for silver, which the French won by just five seconds.
The 2023 Lake Placid Biathlon will continue on Wednesday with the women’s 7.5km sprint and the men’s 10km sprint.
Written by Christopher Benítez Cuartas, FISU Young Reporter
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