Russian cross-country skiers Oxana Usatova, Viktoria Karkina and Svetlana Nikolaeva secured the opening gold medal of the day with a resounding victory in the women's 3x5km classic in Štrbské Pleso.
The Russian trio set the landmark time of 47:47.1 to beat Kazakhstan's Anna Stoyan, Viktoriya Lanchakova and Anastassiya Slonova by 43.6 seconds. France picked up their first medal of the Winter Universiade with Iris Pessey, Julia Devaux and Marion Buillet taking the bronze, coming home 1:31.1 in arrears.
"We started in ninth position [out of 13 teams] and it was a difficult race - especially because of the track and weather which made the race more complicated," said Russian captain Usatova.
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"Our strategy was quite simple, we started more relaxed and then we went for it. On some places there was too much snow which made the race rather difficult but thankfully we had specially prepared skis. We are very happy about the gold medal and I would like to thank Svetlana and Viktoria, I am very satisfied with their performance."
Bronze medallist Pessey said it was a relief that France had ended its barren run and finally joined the medal table. "Now people will believe in our team and that will make a big difference," she said. "It's a great feeling when you can share this win with your team-mates."
Russia's male skiers emulated the women's fine performance by trouncing both Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic in the 4x7.5km classic/free relay.
Andrey Feller, Artem Nikolaev, Raul Shakirzianov and Andrey Larkov completed the course in a blistering time of 1:22:49.0 to beat Kazakhstan's Alexandr Malyshev, Yevgeniy Velichko, Yevgeniy Bondarenko and Mark Starostin by 1:53.7.
The Czech foursome of Jacob Kordač, Adam Fellner, Jakub Graf and Daniel Maka pipped the French team by one tenth of a second to secure their fourth bronze medal of the games, coming home 2:57.0 down on the indomitable Russians.
"The race was really good. All four of us spread our strength so that we could last the whole race and we succeeded," said Russia's Nikolaev. "I am glad, we are all very happy with the gold medal."
Russia's third success of the day came at Osrblie where the Biathlon mixed relay team event was won by Russia's Kristina Smirnova, Evgeniya Pavlova, Vadim Filimonov and Yuri Shopin.
Each biathlete completed one lap of the course (7.5km for the men, 6km for the women) which included a standing and a prone shoot. Pavlova was flawless in her shooting as the Russian team set the winning time of 1:36:38.4 despite heavy snowfall which rendered the skiing conditions extremely challenging.
Kazakhstan (Galina Vishnevskaya, Anna Kistanova, Maxim Braun and Vassilly Podkorytov) secured the silver medal, 33.2 seconds in arrears, while Ukraine (Yuliya Brygynets, Iana Bondar, Ruslan Tkalenko and Dmytro Rusinov) took bronze at 49.2 seconds. No other team came close to a podium spot, with the fourth-place French outfit finishing almost another three minutes back.
But Russia were denied a clean sweep of gold medals on day six of the Winter Universiade when Japan soared to victory in the mixed team competition thanks to a ruthless brother-and-sister Ski Jumping combination at Štrbské Pleso.
Bad weather and heavy snowfall meant the first round was cancelled, with the competition to be decided on just one jump for each of the two-person teams. Siblings Yuka and Junshiro Kobayashi (Japan I) showed their class with a tally of 202.4 points - enough to beat Russia II's Anastasia Gladdysheva and Mikhail Maksimochin (185 points) to the top rung of the podium.
Japan's second team of Aki Macuhashi and Kanta Takanashi (178 points) denied Russia I (Irina Avvakumova and Ilmir Hazetdinov) the bronze medal by just 0.6 points after Avvakumova - a double gold medallist from previous events - struggled in the difficult conditions.
"I am happy with our gold medal. If there was the final round I think I would have made an even better jump than my first effort of 94 metres because of the weather conditions seemed to be improving and the wind was perfect,” said Junishiro Kobayashi
After another medal flurry, Russia retains its comprehensive lead in the medal table with a total of 32 (12 gold, 10 silver, 10 bronze). Kazakhstan are a distant second with six medals (2/4/0) and Poland third with five (2/1/2).
Saturday's schedule includes medal events in the women's Cross-Country Skiing 15km mass start, the Nordic Combined Team Gundersen and the men's and women's Biathlon mass start.
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