Team Courage reflect true Games spirit and round off figure-skating in style in mixed NOC team event at Winter Youth Olympics

Team Courage emerged victorious in the mixed NOC team figure skating event (PA Images)
13:13pm, Thu 16 Jan 2020
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Olympic spirit was oout in force as skaters from Estonia, Georgia, Japan and Russia combined to form the victorious 'Team Courage' in the mixed NOC figure skating in Lausanne.

The event comprised eight teams featuring athletes from different nations competing together in ladies’ singles, men’s singles, ice dance and pairs with ranking points determining the medals.

Team Courage started strongly with Japanese duo Nishiyama Shingo and Yoshida Utana topping the ice dance rankings to earn a maximum eight points. 

Alina Butaeva and Luka Berulava from Georgia backed up their success when they ranked third in the pairs while Russia’s Kseniia Sinitsyna sealed the win topping the scores in the ladies’ singles.

Thanks to the phenomenal performances from his team-mates, Arlet Levandi (EST) went into the men's singles with a substantial lead. He finished seventh in the event but this was enough to earn his team the overall gold.

“I am so happy that I now know my team will win. It’s been a good experience having team-mates from different countries supporting me,” said Sinitsyna, who also won a silver medal in the ladies’ singles on Monday.

This was echoed by athletes from other teams with Team Hope's Tyler Gunara from Canada adding: "It was different. You wanted to go out there and do well, have fun, and be part of a team."

Meanwhile, the Finnish pair of Rosa Pohjolainen and Jaakko Tapanainen dominated in the parallel mixed team slalom event having both suffered a week of disappointing singles results.

The duo lost only two of their 16 races to win a well-deserved gold and Pohjolainen was evidently overjoyed saying: “I woke up today and I wanted this gold medal. After slalom I felt bad, I knew I had speed but it was a bad day. I spoke to my coach last night, sorted out some things. I was so focused today.”

16-year-old Pohjolainen won all eight of her parallel races while Tapanainen was almost as good, resulting in the pair taking the top spot ahead of German duo of Max Geissler-Hauber and Lara Klein in second.

Rosa Pohjolainen (right) and silver medallist, Germany's Lara Klein (PA Images)

The event rounded off a phenomenal few days of skiing, headlined by the astonishing performances from Switzerland's Amelie Klopfenstein who won two gold and a bronze in what she described as 'an incredible week'.

Elsewhere it was victory for Italy in the mixed biathlon relay while Japan's Yukino Yoshida, Finland's Sini Siro, Russia's Alexander Sergeev and Ignaz Gschwentner from Austria claimed the top spot in the mixed NOC sprint speed skating event.

Thursday's timetable sees the conclusion of the curling event and the awarding of the final two speed skating medals.