Wild Rumpus Sports
 

Nordgren and Currier Make Olympics as U.S. Biathlon Finalizes Team

American Russell Currier racing to 34th last season in the men’s 12.5 k pursuit in Oberhof, Germany. (Photo: USBA/NordicFocus)

Leif Nordgren and Russell Currier have been named to U.S. Biathlon’s team for the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. They will join Tim Burke, Lowell Bailey, and Sean Doherty, meaning that the team will be identical to that at the 2014 Olympics. The women’s team for PyeongChang was finalized earlier this week.

The decision came after an IBU Cup sprint in Arber, Germany, on Saturday, that was the culmination of a four-competition selection series. The first two races were IBU Cup sprints in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia, earlier this month, and the third competition was a time trial in Arber.

In that 10 k sprint, Nordgren finished 16th, 59.2 seconds behind race winner Vetle Sjastad Christiansen of Norway. It was a day after he had traveled to Ruhpolding, Germany, to fill out the U.S. men’s relay team, and then back to Arber again. Paul Schommer was 33rd in the Arber sprint (+1:53.9), Currier 40th (+2:07.6), and Jake Ellingson, the final short-listed man for the Olympic team, did not start.

In the same race, Matthew Hudec finished 72nd for Canada (+3:09.6), followed by Aidan Millar in 89th (+4:06.2).

In the women’s 7.5 k sprint in Arber on Saturday, Chloe Levins of the United States finished 22nd for a career-best IBU Cup result, with one penalty landing her 1:09.4 behind race winner Hilde Fenne of Norway. Maddie Phaneuf finished 42nd, also with one missed shot, +1:45.4.

For Canada, Megan Tandy led the way in 28th with two penalties (+1:14.1), followed by Nadia Moser and Megan Bankes in 45th (+1:56.8) and 46th (+1:58.2), respectively. Erin Yungblut finished 75th (+3:51.1).

Results: menwomen

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U.S. Names Women’s Olympic Biathlon Team; Dreissigacker 5th in Arber IBU Cup

The U.S. Biathlon Association has announced that Emily Dreissigacker, Maddie Phaneuf, and Joanne Reid will join Susan Dunklee and Clare Egan at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Dunklee and Egan were already qualified for the team, with Dunklee winning a silver medal in the 12.5 k mass start at 2017 World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, and Egan having the next best results on the World Cup of any other American woman in December.

Dreissigacker, Phaneuf, and Reid were chosen based on two IBU Cup competitions in Slovakia and an IBU Cup and a time trial in Germany. Just missing out on an Olympic berth was Chloe Levins, who also made the short list and competed in the four races.

In the final selection race, Emily Dreissigacker notched a career-best IBU Cup finish of fifth place in the 15 k individual in Arber, Germany, on Thursday. She shot a perfect 20-for-20 to finish 2:00.4 behind race winner Karolin Horchler of Germany. In the same race, Phaneuf also cleaned to finish 11th, +2:58.6. Only Horchler, third-place Anna Weidel (also of Germany), Dreissigacker, and Phaneuf shot clean in a field of 73 finishers. Levins had three penalties to finish 37th, +5:59.3, and Reid missed five shots to place 45th, +6:25.9.

The men’s qualification competitions finish with a 10 k sprint in Arber on Saturday, after which point the men’s team will be announced.

Three Top-20’s for Canada in Arber

In the Arber 15 k, Canada’s Megan Bankes and Megan Tandy placed 15th (+3:24.4) and 18th (+3:34.9), respectively, with two and four penalties. Erin Yungblut was 48th with two penalties (+7:16.2) and Nadia Moser 53rd with five missed shots (+8:40.2).

The men’s 20 k individual was won by France’s Jean Guillaume Beatrix. Canada’s Carsen Campbell finished 20th (+3:33.0) with one missed shot, the same tally as Beatrix, for his best result of the season so far. Aidan Millar placed 55th (+8:42.3) with three penalties, and Matthew Hudec 73rd (+12:20.3) with six penalties, out of a field of 85.

Results:

Arber 15 k individual / Arber 20 k individual

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US Biathlon’s 2018 Youth/Junior Worlds Team

The U.S. Junior/Youth World Championship Trials took place Dec. 28-29 in Coleraine, Minnesota, with men’s and women’s sprint races both days, according to a US Biathlon press release. From those two-day trials, cut short due to frigid forecasts on Dec. 30-31, the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships team was named. This year’s championships are Feb. 26-March 4 in Otepää, Estonia.

Complete trials results

The teams named Dec. 30 are as follows:

Female Junior World Championship Team

  • Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt./VT Biathlon/Mountain Top Nordic Ski Club) – pre qualified from last season and IBU Cup Team
  • Amanda Kautzer (Plymouth, Minn./Loppet Nordic Racing/Michigan)
  • Lucy Hochshartner (Casper Mtn. Biathlon)
  • Nina Armstrong (Lake Placid, N.Y./Harvard College)

Female Youth World Championship Team

  • Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)
  • Grace Gilliland (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)
  • Lexie Madigan (Truckee, Calif./Auburn Ski Club)
  • Emma Stertz (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)

Male Junior World Championship Team

  • Cody Johnson (Fort Kent, Maine/Outdoor Sports Institute)
  • Jake Pearson (Casper, Wyo./Casper Mountain Biathlon Club)
  • Tim Cunningham (New Hampshire/St. Laurence Univ.)
  • Cam Christiansen (Pequot Lake, Minn./NNW)

Male Youth World Championship Team

  • Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)
  • Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)
  • Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash./Methow Valley Biathlon)
  • Maxime Germain (Anchorage, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)

According to the same press release, “the following athletes have qualified for the Junior IBU Cup #3 to be held Jan. 25-27 in Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, as well as the IBU Junior Open European Championships taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 4 in Pokljuka, Slovenia:”

Female Jun IBU Cup #3 and Junior Open European Championship 

  • Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt./VT Biathlon/Mountain Top Nordic Ski Club) – pre-qualified
  • Amada Kautzer (Plymouth, Minn./Loppet Nordic Racing Michigan)
  • Helen Wilson (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)
  • Grace Gilliland (Eagle River, Alaska/Alaska Biathlon)
  • Lexie Madigan (Truckee, Calif./Auburn Ski Club)

Male Junior IBU Cup #3 and Junior Open European Championship 

  • Vasek Cerenka (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)
  • Cody Johnson (Fort Kent, Maine/Outdoor Sports Institute)
  • Garrett Beckrich (Grand Rapids, Minn./Mt. Itasca)
  • Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash./Methow Valley Biathlon)

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US Names IBU Cup Team, From Which Final Olympic Selections To Be Made

Leif Nordgren (US Biathlon) skiing the second leg of the IBU World Cup men’s 4 x 7.5 k relay in Hochfilzen, Austria, this month. The U.S. men ended up ninth overall out of 26 teams; Nordgren will head to the IBU Cup circuit in January to battle for an Olympic roster spot. (Photo: IBU/NordicFocus)

The U.S. Biathlon Association has named the shortlist from which its final team for the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, will be selected.

Lowell Bailey, Susan Dunklee, Tim Burke, Sean Doherty, and Clare Egan are already qualified, and will return to World Cup racing in Oberhof, Germany, in January, to make their final preparations for the Games.

The rest of the potential team members will compete at two IBU Cup weekends in January, in Brezno, Slovakia, and Arber, Germany. That includes Emily Dreissigacker, Leif Nordgren, and Paul Schommer, who are moving down after competing on the World Cup during the first period of racing, as well as Maddie Phaneuf, Joanne Reid, Chloe Levins, Russell Currier, and Jake Ellingson, who earned their spots after selection trials in Mount Itasca, Minnesota.

Nordgren had the best World Cup results of the group, contributing to a ninth-place men’s relay effort and racing to 56th in the sprint in Annecy-Le Grand-Bornand, France, before improving to 48th in the pursuit there.

Dressigacker had a top finish of 81st on the World Cup, coming in the 15 k individual in Östersund, Sweden. In the 20 k individual the same week, Schommer tied for 69th, his best finish of the racing period.

From the trials races in Minnesota, Phaneuf (US Biathlon) the first sprint – by 37.6 seconds over Reid (US Biathlon/Colorado Biathlon), with clean shooting to Reid’s one penalty – and last  sprint, by 16.5 seconds over Levins (US Biathlon/Mountain Top Nordic), with each having three penalties. Reid won the Dec. 16 sprint by a whopping minute and 14 seconds over Levins, thanks to the only clean shooting in the field. And  Levins won the Dec. 17 mass start by 10.1 seconds over Phaneuf, with each missing three shots in the four-stage race.

Currier, of U.S. Biathlon and the Outdoor Sports Institute in Maine picked up two wins in the trials series: the Dec. 15 sprint, by 25.8 seconds over Alex Howe of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project; and the Dec. 17 mass start by 15.1 seconds over Ellingson (Mount Itasca/National Guard) despite three missed shots to Ellingson’s one.

Two men won trials races outright but didn’t make the team. Howe was the top finisher in the Dec. 16 sprint, beating Ellingson by 3.1 seconds despite an additional penalty. And the final men’s sprint on Dec. 19 had a surprise win by junior Vasek Cervenka (Mount Itasca), who bested Raleigh Goessling (NIA) by 27.9 seconds with each having two penalties. But Currier and Ellingson were more consistent in their performances, with Ellingson never winning but finishing on the podium three times.

From the IBU Cup squad, three women and two men will be selected. The races will be scored based on a ranking of only the U.S. athletes and their relative time differences, with the best two results from each athlete counting. The competition formats are two sprints in Brezno, and an individual and a sprint competition in Arber. More information on the scoring process can be found here.

Trials results:

Dec 15 / Dec 16 / Dec 17 / Dec 19

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Herrmann and Fourcade Win Sjusjøen Sprints, Scott Gow 29th

The men’s podium in the season opening biathlon sprint in Sjujøen, Norway, on Saturday, where Martin Fourcade of France collected the men’s win. (Photo: Vegard Breie/sesongstartskiskyting.no)

Germany’s Denise Herrmann and France’s Martin Fourcade started the international biathlon season off with wins on Saturday, besting a diverse field in Sjusjøen, Norway.

In the women’s 7.5 k sprint, Herrmann missed a shot in standing, but nevertheless took an 8.7-second victory over Nadezhda Skardino of Belarus. Irina Kryuko, also of Belarus, was third 22.6 seconds behind Herrmann, even though both she and her teammate shot clean. Kryuko narrowly made the podium: France’s Anais Bescond was close behind in fourth (+23.5), Norway’s Hilde Fenne in fifth (+26.4), Ukraine’s Julia Zhuravok in sixth (+26.6), and Belarus’s Darya Domracheva in seventh (+28.7).

In the men’s 10 k sprint, last year’s overall World Cup winner Fourcade took a convincing 13.2-second win over Erlend Bjøntegaard of Norway, with both men shooting clean.

It’s good for the confidence to have this result,” Fourcade told Norway’s NRK broadcaster. “I will try to get the same [results] this season as last year, although it may be difficult.”

Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Bø rallied for third place and despite two penalties, was just 27.6 seconds behind Fourcade. Italy’s Lukas Hofer took fourth (+30.4) and Norway’s Tarjei Bø fifth (+44.8).

Three Canadian men competed, with Scott Gow leading the way in 29th (+1:53.8) with one penalty. Brendan Green finished 45th (+2:17.3) and Christian Gow 47th (+2:21.9), with two and one penalties, respectively.

Results: menwomen

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First Report from Open European Champs

A grey, calm day for the 15/20 k individual at IBU Open European Championships on Wednesday in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland.

A grey, calm day for the 15/20 k individual at IBU Open European Championships on Wednesday in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland.

By Erin Yungblut

It was a tough start to racing in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, at the IBU Open European Championships (OECH) for the North Americans. After a week-long hiatus from IBU Cup, the 15/20-kilometer individual on Wednesday was fast with perfect shooting a must for a decent result on a grey, calm day. The Canadians trained for a week on the fresh snow in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, while the Americans enjoyed a sunny week in Dobiacco, Italy, before the event. With some nations using the OECH event as selections for World Championships in February, there were many World Cup regulars racing. Every nation can enter six athletes at OECH, and the event is often considered the “world championships” of the IBU Cup level.

The Canadian wax technicians jokingly coined the individual on Wednesday “Russian Nationals” after yet another strong showing at the top of the results sheet by the Russian team. The IBU Cup is usually dominated by the Russians (with six in the top eight a common occurrence on the circuit), and Wednesday’s race was no different, with two athletes having recently served two-year bans for EPO use standing on top of the podium. The best North American women’s result was Emily Dreissigacker in 41st, while Russell Currier led the North American men in 51st. Both the Canadians and Americans had mediocre days on the range, with the top shooting being 18-for-20 for both teams.

The long downhill approach to the range in  Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, at 2017 IBU Open European Championships.

The long downhill approach to the range in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, at 2017 IBU Open European Championships.

The range had only a few light breezes throughout the day, but the long downhill approach finishing with a short punch into the range was deceptively difficult for most, arriving on the shooting mat with lead legs/lower-than-normal heart rates. The course in Poland is wide and designed for TV with many long one and two-skate sections and only one steep climb. The snow was soft and mushy, deteriorating throughout the day, making for a lot of work with little rest.

Overall, the atmosphere in Poland is bright with the locals working hard to make the event happen without a glitch — despite a half-finished stadium building — and the spectators were loud and excited. At only their third event of the team’s first IBU Cup tour this season, the Americans will build on their decent skiing for the sprint, pursuit and relays this Friday through Sunday. With members of the Canadian IBU Cup team rebounding from the third illness to strike the team so far this winter, the Canadians hope to sharpen up their speed leading into the weekend as well.

The Canadian team is led by coaches Jacqueline Ackerman (Ottawa) and Jessica Blenkarn (Whistler) for the first time on this tour.

The Canadian team at 2017 IBU European Championships is led by coaches Jacqueline Ackerman (Ottawa) and Jessica Blenkarn (Whistler) for the first time on this tour. (Photo: Sarah Beaudry/Instagram)

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Starykh & Loginov Win Arber IBU Cup, Schommer 25th, Beaudry 28th

The IBU Cup competitions got off to a difficult start in Arber, Germany, as the women’s individual was postponed on Friday due to bad weather. In the end, the men’s and women’s 20 k and 15 k individual competitions were held on Saturday and the mixed relay and single mixed relay scrapped.

Come Sunday, the Russian team was ready, taking four of the six available podium spots. Irina Starykh and Alexander Loginov, both returning from bans for using the blood-doping drug EPO, took the wins.

In the 20 k, Loginov racked up a monster win of 1:12.2 over Italy’s Jeremy Finello, despite four penalties to Finello’s two. It’s unusual for the winner of an individual competition – where each missed shot accrues a minute of penalty time, rather than a 20- to 25-second penalty lap – to have so many penalties. Loginov’s ski time was the fastest of the day by more than a minute over Norway’s Kristoffer Skjelvik, who ultimately finished sixth (+3:04.2) with five penalties. Third place overall went to Michail Kletcherov of Bulgaria (2:08.4) with three penalties.

Paul Schommer of the United States continued his strong IBU Cup showing this season, leading North Americans in 25th place (+5:58.7) with five penalties. For Canada Carsen Campbell led the way in 31st (+6:24.2) with three penalties. Other American finishers were Jake Ellingson in 37th (+6:41.6 with four penalties), Alex Howe in 64th (+9:58.3 with eight penalties), and Max Durtschi in 88th (+14:32.3 with ten penalties). Also for Canada, Matthew Neumann finished 60th (+9:08.3 with six penalties), Matthew Hudek 70th (+11:31.4 with seven penalties), and Aidan Millar 73rd (+11:47.8 with eight penalties).

In the 15 k individual, Starykh bested Russian teammate Daria Virolaynen by just 0.3 seconds; she had one penalty to Virolaynen’s two. Svetlana Sleptsova rounded out an all-Russian podium in third (+2:56.2) with four penalties. The podium finishers had the fourth-, first-, and third-fastest ski times of the day.

Sarah Beaudry finished 28th for Canada (+7:25.8), with just three penalties. Teammate Leilani Tam Von Burg finished 58th (+11:31.0) with seven penalties, and Erin Yungblut 64th (+12:31.6) with five penalties. For the United States, Emily Dreissigacker placed 71st (+13:26.1) with seven penalties, Siena Ellingson 79th (+15:38.5) with five penalties, and Hallie Grossman 86th (+18:30.1) with 14 penalties.

The circuit takes a one-week break before moving to Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, for Open European Championships.

Results: menwomen

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Currier 44th in Beitostolen Sprint, Re-Qualifies for World Cup

When Russell Currier (Outdoor Sports Institute) was selected to the U.S. World Cup team after a one-year absence, there was just one piece of outstanding business: he was no longer qualified for the World Cup. So that entailed an early-season trip to the second-tier IBU Cup to re-make qualification criteria.

Currier raced in the 10 k sprint in Beitostolen, Norway, on Friday to do just that. He was the only American athlete there, and traveled with one coach, U.S. men’s team coach Jonas Johansson. The one-day reintroduction to international racing was far from dull for the skeleton crew.

Currier faced few problems on his skis, cruising to the tenth-fastest course time.

“Ski speed was better than expected,” he wrote in an email. “Two days of travel and jet lag, a one-man wax team and not the best feeling in the legs had my expectations on the lower end.”

But Currier shot two penalties in each of his stages, with some added challenges in standing.

“I accidentally ejected a magazine,” he explained. “It proceeded to bounce off the mat and beyond the firing line. Normally there is a coach with a spare clip for in these situations… [but] Jonas was checking my shots [on a digital network] without having to be in front of a scope. So, I had to wait for a race official to figure out what I was yelling about. The official that came over had, coincidentally, five rounds on him that I was able to reload my prone mag with. Still, the winds were so obnoxious that hitting three of five with a 50+/- second rest didn’t help.”

Currier had to hurry his way to the finish and his time, +3:09.4 from winner Vetle Sjastad Christiansen of Norway, earned him 44th place and points of 111.85 – just sneaking under the 125-point cutoff for World Cup qualification.

The whole experience was a bit wild.

“There was some pressure because I didn’t know what to expect,” Currier wrote. “It had been so long since my last race with this field. After my standing stage folly, I was more nervous.”

But he has since rejoined the U.S. team in Östersund, Sweden, where he will compete in the World Cup 20 k individual on Thursday.

“The whole race could have been so much worse and so much better,” Currier wrote. “The goal was to do well enough to make the points and then be in Östersund with the rest of the team ASAP, so with that in mind the race was a success.”

Results

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Oberhof Canceled, Canmore Results, U.S. & Canadian Team Announcements

With no snow in low elevation areas of central Europe and none in the forecast, Oberhof, Germany, has canceled its biathlon World Cups which were slated for the first weekend of the New Year.

The International Biathlon Union is seeking alternative venues for a replacement, with Ruhpolding, Germany, and Pokljuka, Slovenia, reportedly in the mix. The IBU will announce the relocation by December 27.

There was plenty of snow in Canmore, though, so the Alberta venue hosted races which served as selection trials for various teams.

On December 17, senior sprints were won by Patrick Johnson and Maddie Phaneuf of U.S. biathlon; junior sprints by Alexandre Dupuis and Kendall Chong of the Biathlon Alberta Training Center; and youth sprints by Leo Grandbois of Quebec Biathlon and Nadia Moser of the Biathlon Alberta Training Center (BATC). Results

On December 19, senior sprints were won by Max Durtschi of U.S. Biathlon and Joanne Reid of Colorado Biathlon; junior sprints by Matt Strum of BATC and Caitlin Campbell of Biathlon Prince Edward Island; and youth sprints by Teo Sanchez of Biathlon Quebec and Megan Bankes of BATC. Results

On December 20, the senior pursuits were won by Casey Smith of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project and Reid; the junior pursuits by Aidan Millar of BATC and Campbell; and the youth pursuits by Zachari Bolduc of Biathlon Quebec and Bankes. Results

After those competitions, the American and Canadian biathlon federations have announced rosters for several international racing trips. The U.S. is reshuffling its World Cup roster, keeping only Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, Annelies Cook, Tim Burke, Lowell Bailey, and Sean Doherty on the squad for the (now relocated) Oberhof weekend.

Hannah Dreissigacker and Leif Nordgren will compete on the IBU Cup, along with six other athletes selected after the Canmore races. They are: Smith of Winthrop, WA, and the Craftsbury Green Racing Project; Wynn Roberts of Battle Lake, MN, and National Guard Biathlon; Durtschi of Ketchum, ID, and U.S. Biathlon; Reid of Boulder, CO, and Colorado Biathlon; Phaneuf of Old Forge, NY, and U.S. Biathlon; and Emily Dreissigacker of Morrisville, VT, and the Craftsbury Green Racing Project.

Biathlon Canada named four biathletes to compete a the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, in February. The competitions are only for athletes born in 1998 and 1999; the inaugural version of the Games was held in Innsbruck four years ago. The chosen four are Ben Churchill (Calgary, AB / Calgary Biathlon), Leo Grandbois (Sherbrooke, QC / Biathlon Quebec), Gillian Gowling (Calgary, AB / Rocky Mountain Racers), and Tekarra Banser (Kelowna, BC / Telemark Biathlon).

* Biathlon Canada also named its team for World Youth and Junior Championships, slated for Chiele Gradistei, Romania, beginning January 25. The nominations are as follows:

Junior Men

Aidan Millar                             Canmore, AB                            BATC / Canmore Nordic

Matthew Strum                       Canmore, AB                            BATC / Canmore Nordic

Alexandre Dupuis                   Ottawa, ON                               BATC / Chelsea Nordic

Pearce Hanna                         Edmonton, AB                          BATC / Rocky Mountain Racers

Junior Women

Kendall Chong                         Calgary, AB                               BATC / Foothills Nordic

Charlotte Hamel                      Sherbrooke, QC                        Biathlon Quebec

Caitlin Campbell                      Bedeque, PEI                            Biathlon PEI

Leilani Tam von Burg              Ottawa, ON                               BATC / Chelsea Nordic

Youth Men      

Teo Sanchez                           Wakefield, QC                           Biathlon Quebec

Adam Runnalls                       Calgary, AB                               Calgary Biathlon Racers

Zachari Bolduc                       Ste. Sophie, QC                         Biathlon Quebec

Lucas Boudreau                     Elmwood, PEI                            Biathlon PEI

Youth Women

Megan Bankes                        Calgary, AB                               BATC / Foothills Nordic

Nadia Moser                           Whitehorse, YT                         BATC / Yukon Biathlon

Emily Dickson                         Prince George, BC                    BATC / Caledonia Nordic

India McIsaac                         Calgary, AB                                Rocky Mountain Racers

U.S. Biathlon will be holding its trials races for World Youth and Junior Championships in Anchorage, Alaska, beginning on December 27th.

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

Zina Kocher (r) tags Marc-Andre Bedard in the mixed relay on the last day of the IBU Cup 8 and 2014/2015 IBU Cup season in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Pam Doyle)

Zina Kocher (r) tags Marc-Andre Bedard in the mixed relay on the last day of the IBU Cup 8 and 2014/2015 IBU Cup season in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Pam Doyle)

(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 of Italy.

Lunder started the relay for only the third time in her career, and shot extremely well to keep Canada in the mix early on. As the last race of a long week, she left it all on the line

“I was really happy with today’s race. The first loop was super relaxed. I was so happy to be starting, because I really enjoy that now,” Lunder said. “On the last lap, last IBU race of the season, I just went for it.

She shot clean on her standing bout, and couldn’t believe it when she caught the favoured Germans on her final lap. She had raced many of the same athletes earlier in the year on the IBU Cup circuit.

“To be skiing with them, and passing them was confidence boosting, for sure.”

Kocher kept the team in the mix, while Bedard and Davies took risks to make up time, however they couldn’t catch the strong skiers in front of them.

Following the race, Biathlon Canada High Performance Director Chris Lindsay said he was happy with Canada’s performance over the week, as they achieved their goal of two medals. The Canadian women won two medals, and had two more top six performances.

“Overall, it was a fantastic week,” Lindsay said. “I think we had a lot of successes, especially on the women’s side… (with the men) we saw some improvement. It was difficult, especially yesterday. The conditions broke down really quickly and unfortunately we weren’t as ready for those changing conditions as we could have been. But it’s true, I would have like to see more performances out of the men.”

Lindsay said the men’s field in Canmore was extremely tough, and he praised Bedard for his string of strong races.

The organizing committee will now debrief the races, and begin preparations for the World Cup races in Canmore in February 2016.

Results

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Kocher One Spot Off Podium in Canmore IBU Cup Sprint

Canada's Zina Kocher after placing fourth in Friday's 7.5 sprint on the last day of individual racing at IBU Cup 8 in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Pam Doyle)

Canada’s Zina Kocher after placing fourth in Friday’s 7.5 sprint on the last day of individual racing at IBU Cup 8 in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Pam Doyle)

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 I did [last] Sunday.”

Nikulina shot 9-for-10 yet edged Germany’s clean-shooting Karolin Horchler by 9.4 seconds. France’s Marine Bolliet placed third with one penalty, 24.2 seconds back.

Kocher missed one prone and another standing, but explained she was fortunate the wind calmed down for most of her second shooting.

“With my last shot, it started to pick up again. I took too long and ended up missing,” she said. “It’s frustrating because that would have landed me on the podium. It’s not a perfect race, but a lot more perfect than my season has been. It’s good to end it that way.”

After Saturday’s mixed relay, Kocher intends to finish her season at Canadian Biathlon Championships in Hinton, Alberta, according to Biathlon Canada.

Three Canadian women finished in the top 20, with Emma Lunder in 16th (+2:02.3.) with three misses, and Claude Godbout in 19th (+2:18.3) with two penalties. Also for Canada, Erin Yungblut placed 23rd, Leilani Tam Von Burg was 30th, and Sarah Beaudry was 33rd.

Katrina Howe was the top U.S. woman in 26th (+2:59.3) with three misses, and Kelsey Dickinson made the top 30 in 28th (+3:12.4) with two penalties.

After finishing eighth at IBU Junior World Championships, Aidan Millar of Canmore was the leading Canadian man in Friday’s 10 k sprint in 32nd, 2:54.1 behind Germany’s Christoph Stephan, who won in 25:52.1. Stephan cleaned, as did Austria’s David Komatz, who tied Norway’s Vegard Gjermundshaug for second, 38 seconds back. The Norwegian missed two shots en route to silver.

Temperatures were above 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit) by the time the men raced, yet Millar, 19, posted the second-best IBU Cup result of his career with two misses (2+0).

“It was pretty sloppy. Some parts had lots of water underneath, so it was slow, but for the most part it held up pretty good,” Millar told Biathlon Canada. “Ever since world juniors were here in 2009, I’ve always dreamed of racing internationally at home, so it was an amazing experience.”

Also for Canada, Macx Davies finished just behind Millar in 33rd (+3:03.9) with four penalties, Marc-Andre Bedard was 35th, Scott Perras 39th, Matt Neumann 42nd, and Carsen Campbell 45th.

For the U.S., Patrick Johnson placed 41st, Wynn Roberts was 43rd, Ethan Dreissigacker 44th, and Max Durtschi 46th.

In Saturday’s mixed relay, Lunder, Kocher, Bedard, and Davies are slated to start for Canada, and Dickinson, Howe, Johnson, and Roberts will represent the U.S.

Results: Women | Men

Mixed relay start list

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Beaudry Sixth, Bedard Eighth in Canmore IBU Cup 15/20 k

Canada's Emma Lunder skis off from the range to place second in the women's 7.5 km sprint at IBU Cup 7 at the Canmore Nordic Centre on Feb. 28. She placed 17th in Wednesday's 15 k individual with six penalties. (Photo: Pam Doyle)

Canada’s Emma Lunder skis off from the range to place second in the women’s 7.5 km sprint at IBU Cup 7 at the Canmore Nordic Centre on Feb. 28. She placed 17th in Wednesday’s 15 k individual with six penalties. (Photo: Pam Doyle/pamdoylephoto.com)

Canada just keeps finding its way to the flower ceremony. On Wednesday, the home nation tallied yet another top six in the third IBU Cup race in Canmore, Alberta, with 20-year-old Sarah Beaudry placing sixth in the women’s 15-kilometer individual race.

With 19-for-20 shooting, Beaudry finished 2:23.1 behind Germany’s Karolin Horchler, who won in 44:34.4 with a single penalty as well. For Horchler, it was her third win of the week in Canmore,  and she edged Norway’s Kaia Woeien Nicolaisen by 12.2 seconds for the win. France’s Marine Bolliet placed third, 1:02.2 back.

“It’s definitely one of my best races this year,” Beaudry said in a Biathlon Canada press release. “It’s just awesome to be at home, do well, hit some targets, have some fun in the mountains in the nice sun. I had some rough races at World Juniors. I wanted to put out a solid race and remember what it was like.”

At the IBU Junior World Championships, Beaudry posted a top result of 15th. On Wednesday, she wore a Canadian flag sticker on her cheek and sent good vibes to her father, who was undergoing hip surgery at the time.

“It’s so easy to be relaxed at home,” Beaudry said. “It feels more like another NorAm in a good way. Knowing everyone out here and the volunteers.”

Also in the women’s 15 k, Canada’s Emma Lunder placed 17th with six penalties, Zina Kocher was 19th with seven misses, and Claude Godbout made the top 20 in 20th with four penalties. Erin Yungblut placed 25th and and Melanie Schultz was 32nd for Canada.

Katrina Howe led the U.S. women in 29th with seven penalties. Kelsey Dickinson placed 35th with six misses.

In the men’s 20 k individual, Marc-André Bedard delivered on his vow that the Canadian men would improve their performance throughout IBU Cup 7 & 8 in Canmore. Contending for a top four throughout much of the race, the 29-year-old Bedard missed one shot too many to finish eighth with 18-for-20 shooting. He was 2:56.4 behind Russia’s Matvey Eliseev, who tallied his first IBU Cup win in 50:25.1.

“I’m really happy with this,” Bedard told Biathlon Canada. “It really sucks to miss the last target, especially when it’s close like that at the end, but it’s great. I’m having fun again.”

Germany’s Christoph Stephan finished 9.9 seconds back from Eliseev to place second, and Norway’s Vegard Gjermundshaug was 56.9 seconds back in third.

According to Bedard, the 20 k’s have been his strong point lately and he considers his fitness to be at an all-time high.

“Every race has the same approach,” he said. “I want to have fun and embrace the suffer. You’ve got to push yourself and get in that zone.”

Carsen Campbell placed 22nd for Canada and had two penalties for one of his personal-best results.

“I wanted to hit at least 18, maybe more,” Campbell said in the press release. “That tied my best shooting for individual. I’m not sure if it’s the best shape of my life, but it’s a lot better than it’s been.”

Wynn Roberts led the U.S. men in 25th with two penalties as well. Teammates Patrick Johnson placed 44th, Max Durtschi was 45th and Ethan Dreissigacker was 46th.

Also for Canada, Matthew Hudec finished 35th, Matt Neumann was 37th, Macx Davies was 42nd, and Scott Perras was 43rd.

IBU Cup 8 concludes with the women’s 7.5 k sprint and men’s 10 k sprint on Friday, followed by the mixed relay on Saturday.

Results: Women | Men

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Kocher Silver in Second Canmore IBU Cup Sprint

Canada's Zina Kocher waves to the crowd after a second-place finish in the 7.5 k IBU Cup sprint in Canmore, Alberta, on Sunday. (Photo: Pam Doyle)

Canada’s Zina Kocher waves to the crowd after a second-place finish in the 7.5 k IBU Cup sprint in Canmore, Alberta, on Sunday. (Photo: Pam Doyle)

Saturday was a day for the youngsters, with Emma Lunder, new to the national team this year, leading Canada with a silver-medal performance in the 7.5 k IBU Cup sprint in Canmore.

Come Sunday, though, the veterans took over. Zina Kocher matched Lunder’s hardware, skiing the third-fastest course time and picking up a single penalty to place second. The three-time Olympian was 17.8 seconds behind Karolin Horchler of Germany, who won for the second day in a row.

“There is definitely huge fire inside of me that says get it together for God’s sake,” said Kocher in a Biathlon Canada press release, referring to her struggles earlier this season bouncing between the World Cup and IBU Cup.” Knowing the accomplishments I’ve had in the past helped me. I really just wanted to enjoy the fact I’m racing at home.”

She appreciated Lunder’s performance the day before, and is glad that Canada now has a strong women’s team: Canada is currently ranked 13th in the World Cup Nations Cup. The year that Kocher skied her first World Championships, 2003, Canada ranked 22nd in the world.

“It was so exciting for me as an older athlete finishing my career to see all these young athletes coming up that are so strong,” said Kocher. “I didn’t have that when I started. Today was extra special to have so many of my former teammates, friends and family around. Tonight will be a good celebration!”

After her perfect day on the range on Saturday, Lunder picked up three penalties in Sunday’s sprint to place 16th, 1:32.7 behind Horchler. She was followed one spot later by Erin Yungblut, who shot clean. Melanie Schultz and Claude Godbout finished 29th and 30th, and Leilani Tam Von Burg rounded things out for Canada in 33rd.

For the U.S., Katrina Howe led the way in 22nd with three penalties. Maine Winter Sports Center teammate Kelsey Dickinson placed 34th.

In the men’s 10 k sprint, it was a Canadian veteran who led the North Americans for a second day in a row. Marc-André Bédard placed 19th with one penalty, and finished the weekend with impressive 39-for-40 shooting. That put him 1:28.8 behind Florian Graf of Germany, the winner of the day.

Fellow veteran Scott Perras placed 23rd with two penalties, followed by a passel of younger racers: Matt Neumann in 34th, Matt Hudec in 36th, Andrew Chisholm in 40th, and Macx Davies in 42nd.

For the U.S., Wynn Roberts again led the way, this time matching Howe’s 22nd-place finish. The National Guard Biathlon racer shot clean and finished 1:41.6 behind the winner. Patrick Johnson placed 44th and Ethan Dreissigacker 46th.

Results: women / men

 

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Lunder Second on Home Turf in IBU Cup Sprint

EmmaLunder skis_pamdoyle ww

Canada’s Emma Lunder leaving the range en route to second place in Saturday’s 7.5 k IBU Cup sprint in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Pam Doyle)

Canada’s Emma Lunder cleaned her first IBU Cup race to finish second in the 7.5 k sprint in Canmore, Alberta, in front of a crowd of friends and family. Lunder, originally from Vernon, British Columbia, turned in the best North American performance of the day.

Lunder was one of only three competitors to hit all ten targets in the competition.

“I’ve never cleaned at an IBU Cup race,” Lunder said, according to a Biathlon Canada press release. “As I was leaving the range the final time, I was like woo hoo – I don’t have to do a penalty loop. What a great day.”

She left the range in second place, 2.9 seconds behind Karolin Horchler of Germany, but was not able to close the gap on the ski trails. Horchler took a 5.1-second win, with Marine Bolliet of France third, 2.9 seconds behind Lunder. Lunder had the tenth-fastest ski time on the day.

“That last loop I said to myself ‘You know this course better than any other girl so do whatever you can to make up seconds,” Lunder said. “There was people all over the course cheering my name and it was such an amazing day.”

Teammate Zina Kocher finished 19th with four penalties (+1:54.8). Former National Team-er Melanie Schultz is out of retirement and finished 27th with one penalty. Erin Yungblut, Claude Godbout, and Leilani Tam Von Burg finished 29th, 30th, and 33rd in the 36-woman field.

For the U.S., Kelsey Dickinson led the way in 28th with two penalties (+2:48.4) followed by Katrina Howe in 31st with four penalties.

In the men’s 10 k sprint, 2010 Olympian Marc-André Bédard led the way for Canada with a 21st-place finish, like Lunder with perfect shooting. He finished a minute and 15 seconds behind Alexey Kornev of Russia, who won the day. Kornev’s perfect shooting gave him a half-second victory over Anonin Guigonnat of France, who’d had one penalty.

Macx Davies was close behind Bédard in 23rd with two penalties, followed by Scott Perras in 25th with one penalty. Matt Hudec, Matthew Neumann, and Andrew Chisholm finished 40th, 43rd, and 46th, also for Canada.

The top American finish belonged to Wynn Roberts, who finished 29th (+1:44.9) with a single penalty. Patrick Johnson finished 35th with four penalties, and Ethan Dreissigacker 45th with two penalties.

Racing continues on Sunday with another set of 7.5/10 k sprints.

Results: women / men

 

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US Biathlon Names Teams for World Championships, IBU Cups 7 & 8

(February 16, 2015) — US Biathlon is happy to announce the World Championship Team roster for the IBU Biathlon World Championships presented by BMW. The event will be hosted in Kontiolahti, Finland March 4 to 15 (more event info here: http://www.kontiolahtibiathlon.com/).  The team will train in Norway until they travel to the World Championships on March 2.

“The team has a great mix of youth and experience,” said Chief of Sport Bernd Eisenbichler.  “We have podium proven athletes in Susan Dunklee, Lowell Bailey and Tim Burke.  We have a very experienced 19 year-old junior athlete in Sean Doherty and Clare Egan had her first World Cup start at the end of January.  With five of the team members already having top 20 finishes this season it looks promising for great results from both the women and the men and we are especially looking forward to opening the championships with the mixed relay on March 5.”

Men
– Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.)
– Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)
– Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.)
– Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.)

Women
– Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.)
– Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.)
– Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)
– Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)

US Biathlon is happy to announce the team for IBU Cups 7 & 8 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, Feb 27 to March 7 (more information here: http://canmorebiathlon.ca/)

Women
– Kelsey Dickinson (Winthrop, Wash.)
– Katrina Howe (Fort Kent, Maine)
– Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.)

Men
– Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine)
– Ethan Dreissigacker (Craftsbury, Vt.)
– Patrick Johnson (Truckee, Calf.)
– Wynn Roberts (Battle Lake, Minn.)
– Casey Smith (Winthrop, Wash.)

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Open European Champs Continue in Estonia, Tam Von Burg 17th

Racing has continued in Otepää, Estonia, as part of Open European Championships this week. In Friday’s junior women’s 7.5 k sprint, Anastasiya Merkushyna of Ukraine shot clean to pull out a 5.4-second win over Austria’s Dunja Zdouc, who was also clean. It was the second runner-up placing for Zdouc at the championships so far, after finishing second in the individual competition as well. Russia’s Uliana Kaisheva placed third despite two penalties, just 12.9 seconds out. (Full results)

  • Leilani Tam Von Burg placed 17th for Canada with clean shooting. It is the best international result to date for the Ottawa native. Emily Dickson placed 32nd with two penalties.
  • Maddie Phaneuf led the United States again, finishing 27th (+3:04) with one penalty. “Waking up with a slight cold didn’t make the skiing very energetic today, but I was pleased with my shooting,” Phaneuf said in a USBA press release. “I’m hoping to fight off whatever I have by Sunday’s pursuit to end this week of racing with a bang.”
  • Her teammates Siena Ellingson and Mikaela Paluszek finished 52nd and 56th.

In the men’s junior sprint, a 10 k competition, Fabien Claude of France used clean shooting to post a 25-second win over Eduard Latypov of Russia, who had one penalty. Russians filled the next two spots as well, with Aleksandr Dediukhin and Alexander Povarnitsyn. (Full results)

  • Canada’s contingent of Matt Hudec and Arthur Roots finished 34th and 55th, respectively. Hudec had two penalties, while Roots struggled through six penalty loops.
  • The sole American in the race, Brian Halligan, placed 58th with four penalties.

Saturday meant senior racing, with more competitive fields since the previous age restriction to 26-year-olds and younger was lifted this season. In the women’s sprint it was Coline Varcin who kept the ball rolling for France. Like Claude the day before, she used clean shooting to power past the competition. Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak, currently ranked 12th in the World Cup total score, finished second, 9.7 seconds back; another World Cup stalwart, Ekaterina Shumilova of Russia, was third just one second behind. (Full results)

  • Canada’s Emma Lunder finished 33rd with three penalties, all of which came in the prone stage. Ranked 44th after leaving the penalty loop, she climbed her way up with clean shooting in standing and turned in the fourth-fastest last-loop time of anyone in the field.
  • Teammate Erin Yungblut placed 63rd with four penalties.
  • The United States did not field a team.

Finally, the senior men raced in their own 10 k sprint competition. It was another Alexey from Russia who won the day, but where Alexey Volkov won the 20 k individual earlier in the week it was Alexey Slepov in the sprint. Slepov shot clean to post a 14.5-second win over Norway’s Lars Helge Birkeland, who had one penalty. Antonin Guigonnat of France finished third, also with one penalty. (Full results)

  • Macx Davies was the top North American. The Canadian had three penalties to finish 28th (+1:33). Scott Perras will also make the pursuit, after finishing 48th with four penalties.
  • Their teammates Matt Neumann and Guillaume Bertrand finished 70th and 82nd with four and two penalties, respectively.
  • After skipping out on the 20 k competition, Leif Nordgren led the U.S. squad by placing 51st with three penalties. Russell Currier placed 62nd and Casey Smith 68th.

Racing continues February 1-3.

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Rough Day on the Range for US, Canada at Open European Champs

Luminita Piscoran of Romania won the 15 k individual by 20 seconds despite five penalties, giving her country its first title ever. (Photo: http://otepaa.biathlon.ee)

Luminita Piscoran of Romania (bib 40) won the 15 k individual by 20 seconds despite five penalties, giving her country its first title ever. (Photo: http://otepaa.biathlon.ee)

Senior racers got their first chance at glory at Open European Championships in Otepää, Estonia, in the 15 k and 20 k individual races today.

Gold went to Luminita Piscoran of Romania in the women’s 15 k. Under extremely tough shooting conditions, Piscoran missed five shots – but between that and the tenth-fastest ski time, she came out ahead by 20 seconds. It was the first podium ever for a Romanian biathlete at the Championships. Second-place Christina Rieder of Austria had three penalties and the best shooting of the day. World Cup regular Ekaterina Yurlova of Russia placed third.

Canada’s two entrants, Emma Lunder and Erin Yungblut, missed ten and nine shots, respectively, to finish 47th and 55th.

In the men’s 20 k, Alexey Volkov of Russia came out on top with just two penalties. Sergey Semenov of Ukraine was the closest to touching him, with the fastest ski time of the day but four penalties; he finished 1:05 back. Vladimir Iliev of Bulgaria placed third +1:31.

Russell Currier led the United States in 55th with seven penalties, followed by Maine Winter Sports Center teammate Casey Smith in 61st with five penalties. Leif Nordgren did not finish the race, dropping out after the third shooting stage.

Macx Davies placed 45th for Canada, with eight penalties, and Scott Perras 54th with nine. Matt Neumann and Guillaume Bertrand rounded out the squad in 67th and 93rd with six and 12 penalties, respectively.

“Today wasn’t the best,” Davies posted on his facebook fan page. “Shooting 0,3,3,2 For a total of 8 misses out of 20. A poor performance when each miss adds a minute to my time. But I am happy with the skiing, my best 20km ski race I have done. Overall am OK day, considering the winds in the range, but looking for some big improvement going into the weekend races.”

Results: women / men

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Phaneuf 20th In European Champs Junior Race

Estonia's Rene Zahkna gave the home crowd something to cheer about when he finished second in the junior men's 15 k individual race at Open European Championships in Otepää. (Photo: otepaa.biathlon.ee)

Estonia’s Rene Zahkna gave the home crowd something to cheer about when he finished second in the junior men’s 15 k individual race at Open European Championships in Otepää. (Photo: otepaa.biathlon.ee)

Maddie Phaneuf had the top North American performance on the first day of biathlon’s Open European Championships in Otepää, Estonia, placing 20th in the 12.5 k junior women’s individual competition. Phaneuf had four penalties and finished 4:56.9 behind the winner, Victoria Slivko of Russia, who only accrued a single penalty. It was a close race: Dunja Zdouc of Austria, the runner up, had a time just 9.9 seconds slower than Slivko. But, as a later starter, Slivko was able to overcome a slight deficit after leaving the range for the final time and make it to the top of the podium.

Also for the United States, Mikaela Paluszek and Siena Ellingson placed 46th and 48th out of 53 finishers with seven and nine penalties, respectively. Canada’s Emily Dickson and Leilani Tam Von Byrg were just ahead of them in 43rd and 44th, with eight and nine penalties.

In the junior men’s 15 k, both the U.S. and Canadian racers also strugged to find their marks on the shooting range. Matthew Hudec and Arthur Roots represented Canada with five and six penalties, respectively, to place 33rd and 40th. France’s Aristide Begue, who is a World Junior Champion in the discipline, won by over a minute with Estonia’s Rene Zahkna placing second. Begue was one of only two men in the field to shoot clean for all 20 shots; the other was Heikki Laitinen of Finland, who placed tenth.

Brian Halligan, the sole U.S. entrant, missed six shots and finished 53rd.

Racing continues in Otepää through February 3rd.

Results: men / women

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U.S. Biathletes Featured in IBU Cup Video About Life on the Road

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) was interested in life on the road for U.S. biathletes, so it spent some time traveling with the U.S. IBU Cup team, with the cameras on.

US Biathlon Development Team member Kelsey Dickinson and Casey Smith (USBA B-team), both of the Maine Winter Sports Center, narrate the 2 1/2 minute video, “IBU Cup 5: Team USA Life on the Road,” which was published with a press release about this weekend’s IBU Cup 5 being relocated to Ridnaun, Italy, because of a lack of snow in Langdorf, Germany.

“We usually have a lot of fun when we’re traveling,” Dickinson said. “Everyone’s pretty happy; no one complains. We’re used to long travel days and so we just try to make the most of it. Play some fun music and talk and enjoy Europe because it’s so beautiful here.”

The IBU Cup 5 races begin Friday, with the men’s and women’s sprints at 10:00 CET and 13:00 CET, respectively.

Saturday includes the men’s and women’s pursuits (also at 10:00 CET and 13:00 CET), and the mixed relay goes off Sunday at 10:00 CET.

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Norway Tops IBU Cup Mixed Relay; Canada 13th

On the final day of IBU Cup racing in Obertilliach, Austria, Norway’s mixed relay with Thelka Brun-Lie, Hilde Fenne, Vegard Gjermundshaug, and Lars Helge Birkeland, topped Germany by 29.7 seconds for the win in 1:10:39.8.

Norway used five spares and had two penalties en route to the win, while Germany, with Annika Knoll, Maren Hammerschmidt, Florian Graf, and Benedikt Doll, used 10 spares but didn’t have any penalty loops.

France (Lena Arnaud, Chloe Chevalier, Baptiste Jouty, and Antonin Guigonnat) placed third with seven spares, 52.6 behind Norway.

Ukraine finished fourth (+56.8), Russia was fifth (+1:07.8), Sweden sixth (+1:57.1), Austria seventh (+2:04.4), the Czech Republic eighth (+2:19.8), Italy ninth (+2:20.5), and Slovakia 10th (+3:10.9).

Canada was 13th with eight spares and a penalty, the latter of which came on first-leg Emma Lunder’s first shooting. Julia Ransom brought the team from 21st to 20th, Scott Gow skied them up to 19th, and Christian Gow picked off six more places to end up 13th (+4:03.2).

While Canadians finished behind Romania and Estonia in 10th and 11th, respectively, they edged Kazakhstan for 14th by 1.4 seconds.

The IBU Cup goes on break until Jan. 9, when it resumes in Duszniki Zdroj, Poland.

Results

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