UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17): Belarus move top of medal table with more golden relay glory
- Liashenka and Laurynovich (BEL) grab country’s third gold in U17 Women’s Relay
- Poland take second and Russia third on an impressive day for European competitors
- London 2012 Olympic champion Svoboda (CZE) cheers on his Czech Republic athletes
Belarus roared to the top of the medal table at the UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17) as their Women’s U17 Relay team delivered the country’s third gold medal in Alexandria.
Aliaksandra Liashenka and Lizaveta Laurynovich (BEL) put an exclamation point on the country’s strength at women’s Youth level as they matched teammate Mira Buraya (BEL) who had claimed individual gold two days earlier.
In truth Belarus were almost untouchable as Liashenka and Laurynovich raced clear of the rest in a dominant Laser Run at the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport to secure top spot on the podium.
Poland grabbed their second silver medal of the Championships as Małgorzata Karbownik and Maja Marcinkowska narrowly saw off the challenge of Russia with Elizaveta Skudnyakova and Iuliia Borovkova claiming bronze.
Liashenka and Laurynovich (BEL) had finished just outside the medals in fifth and fourth respectively on Wednesday but flexed their muscle to send Belarus one clear of hosts Egypt at the top of the medal table with another busy two days of action still to come.
With almost 130 competitors from across 24 countries taking part in the global gathering of the best athletes at the Under 19 and Under 17 grade, Friday was certainly a day to celebrate for Europe as Switzerland and Poland rounded out an all-European top five. Florina and Katharina Jurt (SWI) came agonizingly close to grabbing a first Swiss medal of the Championships before finishing in fourth.
The UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17) continues Saturday with two events that are sure to be unmissable — the U17 Men’s Relay and the U19 Women’s final.
Gold medalist Aliaksandra Liashenka (BEL) said: “It was good day and very remarkable day. Since I had the best swimming I had to be fast in Laser Run and especially in running.”
Her teammate Lizaveta Laurynovich (BEL) added: “We were working very hard all season in order to have this gold and we were trying to do our best during the entire day today. We are happy and very satisfied with result.”
Poland (Karbownik/Marcinkowska) enjoyed the best of the morning action in the pool as they clocked up the fastest time in the Swimming round with 2:01.36.
Not too far behind, the Czech Republic pairing of Katerina Vanova and Anna Studenkova recorded an impressive 2:03.25 with Russia (Skudnyakova/Borovkova) third-fastest.
Hungary, represented by Emma Meszaros and Emma Pataki, and home favourites Gana Aldurui and Sarah Mohamed of Egypt rounded out the top five.
While Poland (Karbownik/Marcinkowska) went out first in the Laser Run, they knew that in the Triathle format, no lead is large enough for comfort.
So it proved as Belarus (Liashenka/Laurynovich) blitzed to the front of the field from an initial starting position of ninth. Sharp shooting and speed endurance in running is a hard combination to beat and the winners showed plenty of both as they finished fastest in a rapid time of 11:49.70, fully 12 seconds clear of second and almost half a minute clear of the rest of the field.
The only team who came close to breaking the 12-minute mark were Switzerland (Jurt/Jurt), particularly impressive in a time of 12:01.40.
In third, Russia (Skudnyakova/Borovkova) crossed the line a fraction quicker than Poland (Karbownik/Marcinkowska) but not enough to leapfrog on to the second spot on the podium.
Olympic Games gold medalist from London 2012, David Svoboda (CZE) is in Alexandria coaching members of the Czech Republic Youth teams. He reflected on his life since retiring from Modern Pentathlon: “For me it’s the first season with the Czech team as a coach. I am very happy that I have two athletes in here, one girl and one boy. And I am also helping our whole team.
“It’s a long time since the Olympics, five years since Rio and a lot of things in my life have changed. Right now I’m coaching and also working for the Czech Olympic Committee as chairman of Czech Athletes’ Commission. I have a lot of activities in sports business. I have workshops for motivation and inspiration too. I do a lot of things. Also, I am still training myself to stay in shape and to do some competitions for fun myself and with my friends. In Czech Republic and also out of the country.
“With my brother, (former UIPM Biathle world champion) Tom, we are in preparation of a huge project which is we would like to open a private basic sports school which connects perfectly, the education in the school and sports. It’s a huge project for the future so we have a lot of things to do."
Watch and follow
The UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17) in Alexandria (EGY) runs from September 13 to September 19.
Visit the UIPM website or download “UIPM Central” from your app store to keep track of live results throughout the UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17).
UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19 and U17)
September 18: U17 Men’s Relay; U19 Women’s Final
September 19: U17 Mixed Relay; U19 Men’s Final