Russians Kechkina and Kiselev best at ESOC

The Russian team were biggest favourites for success at the European SkiO Championships, just concluded in Bulgaria, and so it proved. Best results came from Maria Kechkina, who won 2 individual golds and a relay gold, and Vladislav Kiselev, who won a gold medal in every race except the Long Distance – so 4 in all.

The Russian success in depth is shown through the World Cup standings; in the women’s individual standings, the first five in the list are Russians! Lisa Larsen, Sweden holds sixth place. In the men’s list there are four nations represented in the top six. This week saw also the inauguration of the U23 competition, with their own World Championships at the Sprint and Long races and their own World Cup, where Jørgen Baklid, Norway is the leader in the men’s list. The top six in each of the World Cup lists are shown below.

Overall this was a successful week of competition for the Bulgarian organisers, whose track and course officials had much extra work to do after a blizzard caused the Day 2 race to be cancelled. It became a tiring week for the athletes too, with four races on successive days. The World Masters SkiO Championships also took place and were affected by the weather on the second day.

The Swedish team was weakened by the absence of their most successful athlete, Magdalene Olsson, who was ill (not Covid) at the start and returned home without competing. Hopefully she will be fit for the World SkiO Championships, to be held in Kemi, Finland from 14th to 19th March together with the Junior World and European Youth championships.

World Cup standings after ESOC


  1. Mariya Kechkina RUS 240 points
  2. Olesia Riazanova RUS 195
  3. Marina Viatkina RUS 181
  4. Alena Trapeznikova RUS 150
  5. Tatiana Oborina RUS 149
  6. Lisa Larsen SWE 130


  1. Vladislav Kiselev RUS 250
  2. Andrei Lamov RUS 180
  3. Jørgen Baklid NOR 178
  4. Stanimir Belomazhev BUL 130
  5. Linus Rapp SWE 124
  6. Audun Heimdal NOR 96

U23 World Cup – women

  1. Marina Viatkina RUS 280
  2. Olesia Razanova RUS 260
  3. Judita Traubaite LTU 145
  4. Elin Schagerström SWE 142
  5. Alexandra Rusakova RUS 140

6= Kristin Melby Jacobsen NOR & Synne Strand NOR  107

U23 World Cup – men

  1. Jørgen Baklid NOR 280
  2. Isak Jonsson NOR 197
  3. Igor Linkevich RUS 175
  4. Aapo Viippola FIN 145

5= Artemiy Dorma RUS & Niklas Ekstrom FIN  135