ESOC: Kechkina wins midfield again after 6 years; second gold medal for Kiselev

Today’s intermediate race, contested in difficult weather conditions, offered a second gold medal to Russian Vladislav Kiselev who won by 17 seconds over fellow Russian Andrei Lamov. Mariya Kechkina of Russia won her fourth ESOC gold medal today, also by 17 seconds.

Sweden’s Lisa Larsen, current pursuit world champion, was Kechkina’s closest challenger, and bronze in the women’s race went to Tatiana Oborina of Russia, defending ESOC champion; she also won bronze in the sprint. Kechkina, 35, was ESOC middle champion in 2016, beating Tove Alexandersson on that occasion, but in 2017 and 2018 she had to take second place ahead of Alexandersson. Now she’s back on top. Russia placed four of their team in the top six results; sixth place went to Salla Koskela, Finland.

Men’s Podium, Middle Distance Photos: ESOC

Vladislav Kiselev, 24, clearly came to these championships in top form with his second ESOC gold medal. He and Lamov, one of Russia’s most experienced competitors, mastered the conditions – falling snow and varying amounts of fog – very skillfully; it was a day where skiing and navigation techniques were put to the test. The bronze medalist was Linus Rapp, who improved steadily, winning his first international medal. He was 56 seconds behind the winner. Norwegians Audun Heimdal and Jørgen Baklid and Swiss Gion Schnyder complete the top six.

Tomorrow, the rescheduled Sprint Relay is due to take place, starting at 10:00 a.m. local time.

Best results, middle distance

Women

  1. Mariya Kechkina RUS 37:32
  2. Lisa Larsen SUE 37:49
  3. Tatyana Oborina RUS 38:02
  4. Marina Vyatkina RUS 38:24
  5. Alena Trapeznikova RUS 39:36
  6. Salla Koskela END 39:48

Men

  1. Vladislav Kiselev RUS 44:02
  2. Andrei Lamov RUS 46:19
  3. Linus Rapp SUE 46:58
  4. Audun Heimdal NOR 47:02
  5. Jorgen Baklid NOR 47:34
  6. Gion Schnyder SUI 48:13

Dino J. Dotson