Total 1 - 3903263182
Wild Rumpus Sports

Mäkäräinen Bests Yurlova in Early Season Sprint

Competing in one of the first biathlon races of the season, a sprint in Kontiolahti, Finland, hometown athlete Kaisa Mäkäräinen bested 2015 World Champion Katja Yurlova of Russia by a whopping minute and 23 seconds over 7.5 k.

Billed as an “International Grand Prix”, the competitions featured primarily Finnish athletes but also those from Belarus, Russia, and Estonia. Yurlova, who trains independently from the Russian national team, has close ties to Kontiolahti as a training base.

That didn’t help as both she and Mäkäräinen, the 2011 and 2014 World Cup Total Score winner, missed two shots in standing.

The conditions were difficult,” Mäkäräinen told Finnish website Kestävyys Urheilu. “The prone was good, and four standing shots were under control, even if one of them went high. The last shot was off completely, it was useless error.”

Yurlova couldn’t keep up on the tracks and finished second. Annuka Siltakorpi placed third, also with two penalties, +2:36.

Matti Hakola led an all-Finland men’s podium in the 10 k sprint. With one penalty he bested second-place Mikko Loukkaanhuhta, who had two penalties, by 59.8 seconds.


Biathlon Canada Finalizes World Cup/IBU Cup Teams

On Friday, three Canadian men and two women punched their tickets to start this season on the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup, after the second race of Biathlon Canada’s team trials at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Canmore, Alberta. While Nathan Smith and Rosanna Crawford won the men’s 10-kilometer and women’s 7.5 k sprint on Friday, respectively, the two national-team members were already prequalified for the first World Cup trimester. So was Brendan Green, who placed second, 10 seconds off Smith’s winning time of 31:44.3. But it was the men’s third- and fourth-place finishers, Christian Gow and Macx Davies, who earned two of the remaining three spots on the World Cup team, with Gow finishing 13.1 seconds back in third and Davies placing fourth (+17.1). None of the 19 men who finished shot clean during the two-stage race; Smith missed four targets, and Green had three penalties. Both Gow and Davies had…

Crawford, Smith Win First Selection Races

Rosanna Crawford and Nathan Smith won the first competitions of a two-race series in Canmore to determine which Canadian biathletes will be racing on the World Cup and IBU Cup circuits at the beginning of the 2015/2016 season. Crawford took a 34-second win over Zina Kocher, with Julia Ransom in third just five seconds behind in the 7.5 k sprint. In the 10 k sprint, Smith took an even bigger win, besting Scott Gow by 45 seconds. Brendan Green was third, +1:00.6. Smith, Green, and Crawford, as well as Megan Heinicke (who did not compete at the race), are pre-qualified for the first period of World Cups. The third and fourth members of the team will be selected based on results from today’s and Friday’s races. Meanwhile, Gow and his brother Christian, Ransom, Macx Davies, Emma Lunder, Sarah Beaudry, and Audrey Vaillancourt are guaranteed spots on the IBU Cup tour, although…

Summer Biathlon World Championships Recap

This past weekend, Summer Biathlon World Championships (SBWCH) took place in Cheile Gradistei, Romania, a resort town 180 kilometers from Bucharest, the capital of the country. The races began on Friday with a mixed relay, continued on Saturday with a sprint, and wrapped up on Sunday with a pursuit. Friday’s competitions started with excellent weather; the sun was out and the temperature was warm. However, by the time the senior competition started, winds began sweeping across the shooting range, affecting the accuracy of the competitors. The Russian team of Ekaterina Avvakumova, Olga Kalina, Sergey Klyachin and Sergey Korastylev was able to persevere through the tough shooting conditions to get the win. The team took the lead on the last leg when Korastylev needed only two spare rounds during standing to pass his competition, which were picking up penalties. Bulgaria took second on the day, 26.8 seconds behind the Russian team…

Biathlon Book Wins Top Skiing Prize

At the International Skiing History Association Awards Dinner in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, last week, the book Everyone To Skis!: Skiing in Russia and the Rise of Soviet Biathlon by W.D. Frank was awarded the Ullr Award, which is “Presented for a single outstanding contribution or several contributions to skiing’s historical record in published book form” according to the International Skiing History Association website (where you can also find a list of past winners). It’s one of the first times a book with a notable focus on the nordic disciplines has been recognized. In 1996, Glenn Parkinson’s First Tracks won the award for chronicling the development of skiing in Maine. You can read a 2013 FasterSkier interview with W. D. Frank here, and purchase his book from Powell’s or Amazon.

Shipulin Bests Fourcade, Domracheva Wins “Mega Mass Start” in Tyumen

After finishing the IBU World Cup season in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia, two weeks ago, some of the world’s top biathletes returned to Russia this week to compete in the “Champions Race” in the Tyumen region. The format was a “mega mass start”: 8 shooting stages, spread over 15 kilometers for women and 20 kilometers for men. In the women’s race, Darya Domracheva of Belarus skied to a 24-second win over Russia’s Darya Virolainen. Virolainen had four penalties to Domracheva’s three. Kaisa Makarainen of Finland was third with six penalties, 1:12 back. “Today’s victory has turned such that it might seem that I am very prepared for these competitions, and by and large I was,” Domracheva told organizers after her victory. “After the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk I was in Novosibirsk, where I participated in the opening of some wonderful children’s competitions, and then went to Ramsau to the mountains. There I…

Fak, Dahlmeier Win Mass Starts; Crawford Crashes Out in Khanty Mansiysk

The season ended on a high note for Laura Dahlmeier of Germany and Jakov Fak of Slovenia, who won the season-ending 12.5 and 15 k mass start competitions in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. Fak shot a perfect 20 for 20 and went to the front after the third shooting stage. He skied the loop by himself, then calmly cleaned all his targets to finish up, skiing to an easy 10-second win. That also secured him third place in the overall World Cup standings. “This is a nice way to end the season and win the final event that I won the World Championship in,” Fak said in a press conference. Tarjei Bø of Norway left the range in second place after the final shooting stage, but was caught on the trails by Russia’s Anton Shipulin. Shipulin left him in the dust once the pair entered the stadium, and skated to second…

Nathan Smith 5th; Fourcade Wins Last World Cup Sprint in Khanty-Mansiysk

  Nathan Smith was back in the flower ceremony on Thursday, the first day of the final IBU World Cup stop in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, as the Canadian placed fifth in the men’s 10-kilometer sprint. Coming off a silver medal at 2015 World Championships in the sprint, Smith had a single prone miss and finished 34 seconds after France’s Martin Fourcade, who shot clean and won in 23:47. Russia’s Anton Shipulin also hit all his targets and finished 13 seconds back in second, and Germany’s Benedikt Doll placed third with one standing penalty, 18.3 seconds behind Fourcade. Latvia’s Andrejs Rastorgujevs cleaned and missed the podium by three-tenths of a second in fourth. Smith finished 0.4 seconds ahead of Germany’s Arnd Peiffer, who was sixth, and 1.5 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Fredrik Lindström in seventh. “I knew if my skiing came back up that a top-10 should be more than possible,” Smith wrote in an email. “I would say…

France Wins Mixed Relay, Canada Seventh in Final Race of IBU Cup Season

(Press release) CANMORE – Ecstatic over the news of Canada’s first male world championships medal in the history of the sport, Canadian biathletes had extra motivation for the final race of IBU Cup – the mixed relay. Emma Lunder, Zina Kocher, Marc-Andre Bedard, and Macx Davies suited up for Canada, which was considered one of their strongest relay teams to date on the IBU Cup. All four have World Cup experience. But while the Canadians performed well and finished a respectable seventh, the French, Austrians and Italians surprised the field by all reaching the podium on the final day of competition. The heavily favoured Germans finished fourth, while the Russians, who had reached the podium all week – finished eighth. The upstart Italians wowed the crowd early on by holding onto first place until the final leg, when they were caught by the French and Italians. France won in 1:07.05, 11 seconds ahead of Austria, and 25 seconds ahead…

Kocher One Spot Off Podium in Canmore IBU Cup Sprint

Coming off silver in the IBU Cup sprint last Sunday, Zina Kocher finished fourth on Friday to lead Canada in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint on the final day of individual IBU Cup racing in Canmore, Alberta. Hungry for another podium after placing 19th in Wednesday’s 15 k, Kocher missed two shots to finish 15.1 seconds from the podium and 39.3 seconds behind Russia’s Anna Nikulina, who won in 20:09.9. She continued Canada’s streak of having a woman in the top six in every IBU Cup race in Canmore so far this week. “I’m happy with it,” Kocher told Biathlon Canada. “I wasn’t actually feeling too great [Friday] morning. I had to focus more on believing that I felt really good, being positive and getting back the clarity of shooting. I was frustrated with my performance in the individual. I just didn’t feel as focused and clear in the shooting as…