Nordic

Second Gold for Russia’s Vechkanov

by
Tom Kelly
2017-02-03 17:23
 

SOLDIER HOLLOW, UT (Feb. 3, 2017) - Russia’s Vladislav Vechkanov picked up his second gold medal, winning the men’s 10k/10k skiathlon Friday at the USANA FIS Nordic Junior World Championships at Soldier Hollow. Thomas Helland Larsen and Harald Westberg Amundsen of Norway were silver and bronze.

Winning Move

Vladislav Vechkanov (15) makes a move on race leader Harald Oesterg Amundsen of Norway in the Men's 10k/10k skiathlon at 2017 USANA FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships at Soldier Hollow. (U.S. Ski Team-Tom Kelly)

The USA had two in the top 20 led by Wyatt Gebhardt (Steamboat Springs, CO) of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in 12th, with Hunter Wonders (Anchorage) of APU Nordic in 18th.

In the classic segment it was a battle between Norway and Russia, with Italy’s Simone Dapra also engaging the lead group. Russia’s Egor Kazarinov led at the equipment change with teammate Vechkanov close behind along with Amundsen also in the mix. 

In the freestyle phase, Vechkanov hung back for a bit with Dapra taking the early lead before the Russian made his move and held the lead to the finish. Vechkanov also won the gold medal in the men’s 10k freestyle on Wednesday.

Wyatt

Wyatt Gebhardt in the men's 10k/10k skiathlon at 2017 USANA FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships at Soldier Hollow. (U.S. Ski Team-Tom Kelly)

Junior World Championships will close out Sunday with relays. Saturday the U23 Championships will finish with skiathlon.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Vladislav Vechkanov of Russia picked up his second gold of the week, winning the men’s 10k/10k skiathlon.
  • Norway took silver and bronze with Thomas Helland Larsen and Harald Westberg Amundsen.
  • Wyatt Gebhardt was the top American in 12th, with Hunter Wonders in 18th.
  • Junior Worlds will close out with relays on Sunday.

 

Junior Men

Men's 10k/10k skiathlon at 2017 USANA FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships at Soldier Hollow. (U.S. Ski Team-Tom Kelly)

QUOTES
Vladislav Vechkanov, Russia - Gold
Two medals - it sounds unreal for me. When I did the first race in the sprint, I didn’t feel so well. So I had a bad feeling for this week. 

Actually, I didn’t have a real tactic other than to do my best to stay in the group. The course is tight with a lot of athletes on one course so I was worried about falling. I also tried to save the tempo - not maximum - to save energy. On the last lap I increased my speed but I tried to control everything and look at the athletes around me to see how they felt. On the last lap, I tried to build a maximum gap to win this gold medal for Russia.

Thomas Helland Larsen, Sweden - Silver
It’s just an amazing feeling. I was very satisfied early on but today was a really good day. I have to admit it was the hardest race of my life. The Russians are so strong and are always amazing in the skating portion. It was so hard but I managed to stay with them almost to the last hundred meters.

I was quit nervous. I was fourth and they were ahead by 40 meters and I had to push with everything I had. I was thinking if I could just stay with them I can take this and I kept saying that to myself going into the last hill.

The course is really tough because of the altitude but the start is also very hard because it’s long and steep uphill. So it’s just really hard start to the track and you never get rid of the fatigue. Really good tracks though.

Harald Oestberg Amundsen, Norway - Bronze
It’s amazing. I didn’t expect a medal today. Today I felt really strong and on the skate I tried to go fast but I wasn’t strong enough on the finish but third place is really good.

The last lap was tough. Me and the Russian had a gap for maybe five seconds but he was really strong in the finish.

The course is very tough because of the altitude. Eight rounds on this course is really tough.

RESULTS
Men’s 10k/10k Skiathlon