It has been two days, two victories at the FIS Youth Cup in Knyken for Emilia Görlich (GER), Paul Walcher (AUT) and Johan Fredriksen Orset (NOR), while Russia’s Mariia Kuzmina turned the tables on Laura Pletz (AUT) on Sunday to take her first-ever Youth Cup win.
Youth I: Kuzmina steps up, Walcher continues to win
Even though Pletz had jumped to the lead again with 99.8 points, Kuzmina followed hot on her heels with 96.8 points and started her race only nine seconds behind the Austrian. The fastest racing time of 7 minutes 56 carried Kuzmina to the finish line 32.2 seconds earlier then Pletz. Anja Rathgeb (AUT) claimed another third place (+1:25.8), Magdalena Burger (GER) was fifth and Greta Pinzani (ITA) sixth.
The duo of Paul Walcher (AUT) and Mika Wunderlich (GER) kept on collecting the first and second places in Knyken also in the second event, even though Walcher was only fourth after the jumping part with 101.7 points. Russia’s Konstantin Izvolksii was the top jumper of the day with 109.8 points but did not start in the race anymore. Second-placed Fabian Østvold started 19 seconds ahead of Walcher but was no match to the fast Austrian and German on the track, as was third-placed Henrik Hilmarsen (NOR) so that Walcher took an undisputed victory with an advantage of 32.1 seconds at the finish line.
Wunderlich started his race from position eight and with a delay of 53 seconds on Ostvold but with the fastest race time of 10:50.2 for the 4.5 km, his second place was equally unrivalled. Norway’s Jorgen Berget Storsveen climbed from rank five to the final third position, +43.4 behind Walcher.
Youth II: Görlich and Orset repeat
Emilia Görlich (GER) was the reigning queen of the Youth II Girls category once more and showed a flawless competition with the first place on the hill (103.4 p.) and the fastest competition time of 7:41.7 for the 3 km race. Norway’s Oda Leiraamo stepped up her performance and ranked second after the jumping part with 92.9 points. She started her race 32 seconds after Görlich and two seconds ahead of Britain’s Mani Cooper who collected 92.1 points on the hill.
On the track, however, Leiraamo quickly distanced cooper and finally took the second place 39.3 seconds after Görlich. Cooper finished third, +1:26.2 behind the winner, Mathilde Oustad and Mille Marie Hagen were fourth and fifth.
A hair’s breadth separated Johan Fredriksen Orset and teammate Andreas Ottesen on the jumping hill and at the finish line, in both cases with the better end for Orset. Jumping scores of 106.9 and 106.5 had the two athletes start just one second apart for the final 4.5 km race and with almost the same cross-country time, the decision came down to a final sprint. In the end, 0.3 seconds separated rank 1 from 2. Harald Martin Øihhaugen claimed rank three, +1:05.9 behind the winner. Eskil Høien (NOR) was fourth, Egor Gerchu (RUS) fifth and Mikita Kirillov (RUS) sixth.
The results from Knyken (NOR) and Oberhof (GER) in the summer were used to crown the overall winners of the 2019/20 FIS Youth Cup season.
In the Youth I Girls category, Mariia Kuzmina (RUS) took the win with 380 points ahead of Laura Pletz (AUT) 265 and Magdalena Burger (GER).
In Youth I Boys, Paul Walcher (AUT) won with the perfect score of 400 points from four events, Fabian Østvold was second (230 p.) and Mika Wunderlich third (228 p.)
Emilia Görlich (GER) repeated Walcher's feat in the Youth II Girls category and won with 400 points ahead of Oda Leiraamo (NOR) with 198 and Diana Fedorova (RUS) with 160 points.
Johan Fredriksen Orset (NOR) claimed the Youth II Boys title with 200 points ahead of France's Matteo Baud (180 p.) and Andreas Ottesen (NOR), who accumulated 160 points.