Ilona Plechacova (CZE) and Antonin Guy (FRA) are the first Youth Olympic Biathlon Champions in Gangwon 2024. The two 17-year-olds emerged victorious in the Individuals which kicked off the competitions in South Korea.
Plechacova surprised herself with her steady performance at the shooting range in tricky conditions, missing only one target at the venue which has already hosted World Championships and Olympic Winter Games.
“I feel really amazing and I can’t really believe this. Skiing was really fast so I want to thank my team for that. The track was hard with a long hill and shooting was windy, but I did it so I’m happy. Only one miss for me is really amazing because I’m not a good shooter.”
Emotions welled up for the young Czechwoman when she heard her national anthem after winning Individual Gold: “It is amazing here and it means so much to me.”
Germany’s Marie Keudel and Italy’s Nayeli Mariotti Cavagnet finished in the silver and bronze positions respectively.
Guy blazes through the tracks
On the men’s side, France’s Antonin Guy overcame 3 misses at the shooting range and stormed to the gold medal with the late start bib 89. Guy had previously gotten valuable experiences at the European Youth Olympic Festival where he finished 6th and 8th.
“I was really happy because I saw the other athletes starting before me when I was warming up. It was cool because on the track I got more information about the times of the other athletes, so it was a good thing.”
Storm Veitsle (NOR) and Markus Sklenarik (SVK) claimed silver and bronze. The Single Mixed Relay is the next competition scheduled in Gangwon for Sunday, 21 January 2024 at 03:00 CET.