German Grotian and Czech Marecek winners of junior sprint at the JOECH in Pokljuka


After a one day break the IBU Junior Open European Championships Biathlon in Pokljuka continued with sprint. German Selina Grotian and Czech Jonas Marecek won the highest podium position.

There were very tough conditions today in Pokljuka with strong wind which made the junior women sprint 7.5 km race like a lottery and luck was much needed on the path to success. It was Selina Grotian who was the most successful today and claimed the gold medal in junior women 7.5 kilometres sprint race. She missed one shot and was very fast on the track, so at the end she was 40.7 seconds faster than her closest rival Chole Bened from France. Bened also had to go into one penalty loop.

The bronze medal went to the hands of Noora Kaisa Keranen from Finland who opened today’s race with a bib number one and was unmistakable on the shooting range. She was 41.3 second behind the winner.

“First I saw the wind was very strong and I thought it’s going to be difficult. But then I was a bit lucky with my standing and I was very glad that I only missed one shot. It was the last one, but I am happy that I shot 9/10,” said the winner Grotian for the IBU.

Slovenian women’s team was happy with today’s performance. Kaja Zorč was very close to the podium, with two penalty loops, she was 52.2 seconds behind the winner and celebrated sixth place. Lena Repinc finished 16th, Živa Klemenčič 21st, Zala Repe 56th, Kiara Sterle 62nd and Teja Zadravec 78th.

In the afternoon, junior men sprint was on the programme. Finnish biathlete Otto Invenius was leading for a long time, but at the end it was Czech Jonas Marecek who beat him to take the gold medal. Czech missed twice but was faster on the skis, so he had an advantage of almost nine seconds in the finish line. Invenius who won the second medal of the day for Finland missed one shot.

Italian Iacopo Leonesio was clean on the shooting range and picked up bronze medal, 9.3 behind Marecek.

20-year-old Marecek had a lot of success here in Pokljuka in these past ten days. He was a member of the relay that won bronze medal at the IBU JOECH, and won gold and silver medal past week in the sprint of the IBU Junior Cup held here on Rudno Polje.

The best Slovenian results in men’s sprint was produced by Pavel Trojer who was 27th with two missed shots. Matic Repnik concluded the race in 45th position, Jaša Zidar was 54th, Matic Bradeško 56th, Jaka Kračman 74th, Gašper Ožbolt 89th and Ruj Grošelj Simić 94th.


On Sunday, the IBU Junior Open European Championships Biathlon in Pokljuka will conclude with junior women and junior men pursuit.