The 2015 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships was held in Belarus on 17-24 February.
The National Winter Olympic Training Center Raubichi was the major venue of the event, as the center has one of the world’s best biathlon complexes. The center has undergone a dramatic upgrade in the run-up to the championships. Now it boasts modern world-class equipment and facilities.
The championships were divided into two separate standings:
10km Individual (youth, women) – Anna Krivonos (Ukraine), Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (Norway), Yelizaveta Kaplina (Russia)
12.5km Individual (youth, men) – Kirill Streltsov (Russia), Anders Emil Schiellerup (Denmark), Igor Shetko (Russia)
12.5km Individual (junior, women) – Yulia Zhuravok (Ukraine), Kinga Mitoraj (Poland), Galina Vishnevskaya (Kazakhstan)
15km Individual (junior, men) – Aristide Begue (France), Alexander Dedyukhin (Russia), Vemund Gurigard (Norway)
6km Sprint (youth, women) – Darya Blashko (Belarus), Julia Schwaiger (Austria), Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (Norway)
7.5km Sprint (youth, men) – Jonas Uglem Mobbaken (Norway), Felix Leitner (Austria), Mattis Haug (Norway)
7.5km Sprint (junior, women) – Lena Arnaud (France), Galina Vishnevskaya (Kazakhstan), Chloe Chevalier (France)
10km Sprint (junior, men) – Alexander Dediukhin (Russia), Fabien Claude (France), Sean Doherty (USA)
7.5km Pursuit (youth, women) – Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (Norway), Julia Schwaiger (Austria), Simone Kupfner (Austria)
10km Pursuit (junior, women) – Marie Heinrich (Germany), Galina Vishnevskaya (Kazakhstan), Yulia Zhuravok (Ukraine)
10km Pursuit (youth, men) – Felix Leitner (Austria), Kirill Streltsov (Russia), Mattis Haug (Norway)
12.5km Pursuit (junior, men) – Eduard Latypov (Russia), Vemund Gurigard (Norway), Alexander Povarnitsyn (Russia)
3x6km Relay (youth, women) – Belarus, Russia, Norway
3x7.5km Relay (youth, men) – Russia, Ukraine, Norway
3x6km Relay (junior, women) – France, Russia, Germany
4x7.5km Relay (junior, men) – Russia, Norway, France
The first world championships among junior men took place in 1967. The world championships among junior women have been held since 1989. The youth world championships among youth men and women have been arranged since 2002.
In February 2013 the International Biathlon Union (IBU) made a decision to hold the 2015 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Belarus. The decision in favor of Belarus was due to the country’s top-notch biathlon facilities and outstanding achievements of Belarusian athletes.
Famous Belarusian biathletes include Sergei Bulygin, Alexander Popov, Svetlana Paramygina, Oleg Ryzhenkov, Yelena Zubrilova, Vadim Sashurin, Alexei Aidarov, Vladimir Drachev... and, of course, the star of the modern-day biathlon Darya Domracheva, who has been among the world biathlon leaders for many seasons. Darya won her first international awards at the world junior championships.
It was in February 2014 at the Winter Olympics in Sochi that "the Belarusian rocket" Dasha Domracheva became the three-time Olympic champion and the first woman in biathlon who won three Olympic medals in individual races. Another Belarusian biathlete Nadezhda Skardino clinched bronze in Sochi.
Indeed, biathlon enjoys great popularity in Belarus. More than 2,000 young athletes do this sport, and many Belarusians love this sport and support the national team.
The famous training center Raubichi was built in Belarus ahead of the World Biathlon Championships 1974. For decades it has hosted many top-level international events, cross-country and freestyle skiing events.
Another biathlon complex with a shooting range will open in the vicinity of the town of Gorodok, Vitebsk Oblast, in 2015.
The National Winter Olympic Training Center Raubichi opened in February 1974. It was built for the world biathlon championships, and turned out to be a perfect venue for such events. These include mild winters with moderate precipitation and a favorable wind rose, varying terrain necessary for the construction of tracks of different levels of difficulty, convenient location not far from Minsk, good transport communications…
The landscape around the village of Raubichi where the sports complex is located is often compared with Switzerland. The glacial hills covered with coniferous trees alternate with the plain meadows near the Usyazh river bank and a picturesque artificial lake.
The Raubichi sports center is designed for training sessions and winter sports competitions: biathlon, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined, ski jumping, slalom, speed skating, freestyle skiing, and snowboarding.
Raubichi main sports facilities include:
The sports complex also features a rehabilitation center, hotels and houses for teams, a restaurant, a cafe and a pizza bar, sports equipment rentals…
Belarusian Raubichi hosted different major tournaments:
Raubichi was honored with the UIPMB golden badge for hosting the Biathlon World Championships in 1982.
In 1996, the International Biathlon Union assigned the ‘A’ category to Raubichi and granted it a license to host top-level competitions, without any exceptions.
Today Raubichi is one of the world’s best winter sports centers. Following a large-scale upgrade that took a few years, the center got ultramodern infrastructure, becoming even more comfortable for athletes and coaches, referees and journalists, as well as tourists.
The 2015 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships that will bring together over 600 participants will be held at the renewed biathlon stadium:
Raubichi is located about 25 kilometers away from Minsk National Airport (highways M2, P80).
You can get to Raubichi from Minsk by bus (bus services from the Slavinskogo bus station to Okolitsa, Baturinka), by car (GPS coordinates: N 54° 03. 718', E 27° 44. 381').
Express bus route No. 449BE "Borisov Tract-Raubichi" will take fans from Minsk to Raubichi and back on 18-24 February.
The schedule of the championships included competitions of boys and girls, young men and women in four disciplines:
During the championships 16 sets of medals were awarded to winners of the competitions.