Cleaning up the hardware
Madshus juniors and U23 racers bagged no less than a dozen medals at the 2020 U23 and Junior World Championships in Oberwiesenthal (GER), dominating the tracks in both the individual and team competitions.
Starting out, the young Madshus talents earned three medals and several top-10 finishes just in the opening weekend. In the junior girls’ sprint final on Saturday, three of the six racers were on Madshus skis and equipment.
Helene Marie Fossesholm (NOR), who crashed out of the medals in the sprint after qualifying first on Saturday, returned to the track on Monday, winning the gold medal in the junior women’s 5-kilometer classic race by a comfortable margin. On Wednesday, the 18-year-old won the 10-kilometer skate race with a gap of more than a full minute to second place.
At the same time, Siri Wigger (SUI), was third in the sprint on Saturday. The young Swiss racer, who is a first-year junior, just returned from the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games with a handsome bucket of medals, also pulled in to bronze in the 5-kilometer classic on Monday. Then on Friday, she helped Switzerland to gold in the relay – where Tilde Bångmann skied the first leg for Sweden and set her team up for bronze.
And just hours later, Team USA pulled into gold in the junior men’s relay, the second US relay medal of the day: the junior girls won silver.
Related coverage: Medals galore at the 2020 IOC Youth Olympic Games
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Amundsen: the U23 medal machine
Among the U23 racers, Harald Østberg Amundsen (NOR) dominated the individual events, helping himself to three individual medals in four days: After his bronze in the sprint on Sunday, the 21-year-old moved up to silver in the men’s 15-kilometer classic race on Tuesday. On Thursday, the medal machine won the gold in the 30-kilometer skate race, which he owned from start to finish.
Finally, on Saturday, Amundsen capped the championship week in Oberwiesenthal with gold in the mixed relay – with twin sister Hedda Østberg Amundsen anchoring the team for her first medal of the week. The relay gold was Harald’s second gold and 4th medal in six days!
The overall medal count for the week comes out to six gold medals, two silver medals and four bronze medals between the juniors and the U23-racers.
Biathlon talents on a roll
While the cross-country skiers ruled the World Championships in Germany, junior biathlete Sivert Bakken (NOR) cleaned up at the IBU Cup, bagging three victories in three days in Minsk (BLR).
Fellow Madshus racer Sturla Lægreid impressed the Norwegian national team with his performances at the IBU European Championships and was given the opportunity to race the sprint competition at the IBU World Cup in Nove Mesto (CZE) this weekend. He signed off with an impressive 13th place after shooting clean at the range.
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