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

Today’s Middle race, held in difficult weather conditions, provided a second gold for the Russian Vladislav Kiselev who won by 17 seconds over fellow Russian Andrei Lamov. Mariya Kechkina, 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 the bronze medal in the women’s race went to Tatiana Oborina, Russia, the defending ESOC champion; she won bronze in the Sprint as well. 35-year-old Kechkina was Middle champion at ESOC in 2016, beating Tove Alexandersson on that occasion, but in 2017 and 2018 she had to take second place to Alexandersson. Now she is back at the top again. Russia packed four of their team into the top six in the results; sixth place went to Salla Koskela, Finland.

Men’s podium, Middle Distance       Photos: ESOC

24-year-old Vladislav Kiselev has clearly come to these championships at the peak of his form in securing his second ESOC gold. He and Lamov, one of Russia’s most experienced competitors, mastered the conditions – snow falling and varying amounts of mist – very capably; this was a day when both skiing and navigation techniques were tested to the full. Bronze medallist was the steadily-improving Linus Rapp, gaining his first international medal. He was 56 seconds down on the winner. Norwegians Audun Heimdal and Jørgen Baklid, and Swiss Gion Schnyder completed the top six.

Tomorrow the rescheduled Sprint Relay is due to take place, starting at 10.00 local time.

Leading results, Middle Distance


  1. Mariya Kechkina RUS 37:32
  2. Lisa Larsen SWE 37:49
  3. Tatiana Oborina RUS 38:02
  4. Marina Viatkina RUS 38:24
  5. Alena Trapeznikova RUS 39:36
  6. Salla Koskela FIN 39:48


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