Winter Universiade - Russian gold rush in Trentino continues

Russian dominance of the 2013 Winter Univerisade continued on day four of action in Trentino with several more golds for the medal table leaders.

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Winter Universiade - Russian gold rush in Trentino continues
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Russian cross-country skiers Ermil Vokuev and Evgeniia Oschepkova in Trentino (Offiicial Website)

In cross-country, one of the Russian teams, made up of Ermil Vokuev and Evgeniia Oschepkova, won the mixed sprint in Lago di Tesero after an exciting race in which they pipped Sweden's Anton Karlsson and Emilie Fanny Cedervaern.

Another Russian team claimed bronze thanks to Raul Shakirzianov and Anna Povaliaeva.

“Our team strategy was excellent and from the second loop on, we had the situation under control," Vokuev said. "We knew we could win a medal but gold is really extraordinary.”

The figure skating competition thrilled spectators at the Palaghiaccio Trento, with Sofia Biryukova triumphing, despite a slip on a triple Salchow towards the end of her free programme.

Italian Valentina Marchei had the best score in the free programme, but Biryukova's lead from the short programme proved too great and she claimed another gold for Russia.

Bronze went to the real surprise of the competition, Russia's Sofia Mishina, who was debuting on the international Figure Skating scene

Biryuokova said: "I'm very glad of the result. I had a good feeling and the nationals are going to be a good training for me. I hope to stay at the level I showed here in Trento."

Russia also dominated in the ski cross competition, winning four medals out of the six available at the first freestyle skiing event on Monte Bondone.

In the women's race Daria Nikolayeva won gold ahead of compatriots Violetta Kovalskaya and Viktoria Struk. Surprisingly, Belgium’s Lyske Bruyninckx finished fourth.

“I was sure I would win," Nikolayeva said. “Now I will play my cards to gain the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games of Sochi.”

And in the men's race, Poland's Mateusz Habrat took the win, ahead of Russian Igor Omelin. The Czech Republic's Jiri Cech came third.

Hosts Italy were given reason to cheer after Giulia Borghetti won gold in the alpine skiing women's super-G.

The 23-year-old from near Milan took the lead with the time of 1:28.34 on the Nuova Cima Uomo slope in Passo San Pellegrino and was never bettered.

Poland's Karolina Chrapek (+0.15) took silver while Russian Valentina Golenkova finished third (+0.79).

In biathlon, Serbia's Milanko Petrovic took gold in the men's 10km sprint, despite three mistakes at the shooting range.

Petrovic finished the course with a time of 25:29.5, which was enough to see off Ukrainian pair Vitaliy Kilchytskyy and Dmytro Pidruchnyi, by three and eight seconds respectively.

“The race was really tough", said Petrovic, "But I skied very well. This is a great victory for myself and for my country.”

In the women's 7.5km sprint, Poland's Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak claimed victory, having gone one better than her silver medal in Friday's 15 km individual race.

Nowakowska-Ziemniak had a time of 22:44.8 to take gold ahead of followed her compatriot Monika Hojnisz (+10.6) and the Russian Tatiana Semenova (+46.4).

“I was a bit tensed during the shooting stages”, Nowakowska-Ziemniak said. "Therefore I preferred to slow down a bit before entering the shooting range and doing so I shoot better.”

Jan Marek Szymanski was again the hero for Poland in the speed skating competition, claiming gold in the 1,500m to add to his victory in the 5,000m.

"It was a perfect day," Szymanski said. "There was sunshine, a fast track and a perfect organisation of the competition. My performance is excellent, and I will try to reach the qualification for the European Championships.

"However, the main goal of this season is Sochi but at the moment, I am enjoying my time in Trentino."

Italy's Mirko Giacomo Nenzi won a second silver medal in just two days while bronze went to Korea’s Joo Hyong Jung.

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