ERZURUM - January 31st- It's true that the participating teams have different approaches to the Universiade: for some, these games are for practice or on the way to other international events, for others just being there and participating is already a victory in itself. And finally, for still others, this is a full-fledged objective and the goal is to shine. Russia is clearly in the last category. It sent a very strong team to Kandili prepared specially for the event. The skiers did not come from another meet, hoping that they would do well, and about to leave for elsewhere. No, they were well-rested, numerous, and focused on their objective: winning gold at the Universiade. And there's no denying they succeeded.
The "pursuit without a break" has the unusual characteristic of combining classical style and freestyle, as the skiiers stop between the two trails to change their shoes and their skis.
The women ran 5 km in each of the two styles (for total of 10 km). For the men the total distance was 15 km – 7.5 km in each style. So the skiers had every opportunity to see both sides of the stadium.
In the Men's event, Team Russia signed a double with Vladislav Skobelev and Ilshat Nigmatulin who finished respectively first and second way ahead Alexandr Ossipov from Kazakhstan.
The Women's event turned to a big battle between Alena Skobele from Slovakia and Alia Iksanova from Russia. Finally Alena was the strongest. Kateryna Grygorenko from Ukraine completed this podium.
(Y.Dufour, FISU Editor)
Gold: Alena Prochazkova (SVK), Silver: Alia Iksanova (RUS), Bronze: Kateryna Grygorenko (UKR)
Gold: Vladislav Skobelev (RUS), Silver: Ilshat Nigmatullin (RUS), Bronze: Alexandre Ossipov (KAZ)