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World Cup

Beaudry to Join Canadian World Cup Team in Hochfilzen; Six Headed to Alpin Cup

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

With back-to-back sprint wins at Canada’s NorAm and youth-junior worlds team trials last weekend in Canmore, Alberta, 20-year-old Sarah Beaudry punched her ticket to Hochfilzen, Austria, to compete in the second IBU World Cup of the season this weekend.

Beaudry, of the Biathlon Alberta Training Centre, won the opening women’s 7.5 k youth/junior sprint on Dec. 4 by 54 seconds over American Kelsey Dickinson (US Biathlon/Maine Winter Sports Center). She went on to win Saturday’s 7.5 k junior sprint with clean shooting, besting another American, Maddie Phaneuf (US Biathlon/MWSC) by 49 seconds.

With one more year of junior eligibility left, this will be Beaudry’s World Cup debut.

According to Biathlon Canada High Performance Director Chris Lindsay, Beaudry joins a World Cup team with four women (Rosanna Crawford, Zina Kocher, Audrey Vaillancourt, and Megan Heinicke) and four men (Nathan Smith, Brendan Green, Scott Perras, and Marc-Andre Bedard).

Canada also selected a team to race at the Alpin Cup this weekend (in place of the rescheduled IBU Cup 2 in Martell-Val Martello, Italy): Macx Davies, Scott Gow, Christian Gow, Carsen Campbell, Emma Lunder and Julia Ransom.

***

On the final day of NorAm racing in Canmore, US Biathlon X-team member Sean Doherty overcame won the men’s 15 k mass start by 3.9 seconds over Casey Smith (MWSC), despite five penalties. Smith had three as did top Canadian Guillame Bertrand (Rocky Mountain Racers) in third (+32.3).

Clare Egan (USBA/Craftsbury) crushed the women’s competition in the 12.5 k mass start, despite four penalties, for a 2:34.4-minute win. Katrina Howe (MWSC) was second, and Erin Yungblut (BATC/Biathlon Ontario) placed third (+4:11).

Stuart Harden (RMR) won the junior men’s 10 k mass start by more than a minute over Matt Strum (BATC/Canmore Nordic), and Jules Burnotte (ACBQ/Biathlon Estrie) overcame six penalties to won the youth men’s 10 k by 53 seconds over Teo Sanchez (ACBQ/Chelsea Nordic).

Phaneuf (USBA/MWSC) had six misses as well, but topped the junior women’s 7.5 k mass start by 36 seconds ahead of Leilani Tam Von Burg (BATC). Bryn Robertson (Foothills Nordic) won the youth women’s 7.5 k with four misses, 11.5 seconds ahead of Ellingson.

Complete results

Svendsen on Östersund: Separates Men From Mice

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen celebrates a photo-finish victory over France's Martin Fourcade in the men's 15 k mass start at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen (l) celebrates a photo-finish victory over France’s Martin Fourcade in the men’s 15 k mass start at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

By Inge Scheve

Today’s biathlon competitions are the first individual World Cup races of the season, and the courses in Östersund, Sweden, are notoriously tough.

With the opening mixed relay behind them, World Cup biathletes have the 20- and 15-kilometer individual races next, starting with the men’s 20 k on Wednesday at 17:15 CET (11:15 a.m. EST).

Norwegian biathlete and four-time Olympic champion Emil Hegle Svendsen after racing a cross-country race in 2011 Sjusjøen, Norway. (Photo: Inge Scheve)

Norwegian biathlete and four-time Olympic champion Emil Hegle Svendsen after racing a cross-country race in 2011 Sjusjøen, Norway. (Photo: Inge Scheve)

Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen, 29, who is coming off an Olympic season he said was less than stellar (despite gold in the mass start and mixed relay), recently announced that he is planning to race every World Cup race this season, and he’s particularly excited about the World Cup opener in Östersund.

Svendsen, with five Olympic medals (including four gold) and 11 World Championship titles, is determined to dominate the podium, and he loves the courses in Östersund.

“This venue has pretty challenging courses, long uphills, and only a little bit of recovery on the descents,” he told NRK. “The entry to the range is fairly easy, but the conditions at the range are often challenging.”

While the Östersund courses ski well, they definitely separate the men from the mice, Svendsen explains.

“These courses have proven to suit me well in the past,” he said with a grin.

World Cup 1, Östersund, Sweden (Nov. 30 – Dec. 7)
Sunday November 30: Mixed 2×6+2×7.5 km relay
Wednesday: Men’s 20 k individual
Thursday: Women’s 15 k individual
Saturday: Men’s 10 k sprint; women’s 7.5 k sprint
Sunday: Men’s 12.5 k pursuit; women’s 10 k pursuit

Complete schedules, start lists and results

US and Canadian Teams for Opening World Cup Mixed Relay

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

The United States and Canada have named their teams for the opening World Cup competition tomorrow, a mixed relay in Östersund, Sweden.

Two women’s legs of 6 k each, with two shooting stages, will be followed by two men’s legs of 7.5 k each, also with two shooting stages. Last year Canada finished 11th and the United States 12th.

The United States will compete Susan Dunklee, Annelies Cook, Tim Burke, and Lowell Bailey.

Canada will start Rosanna Crawford, Zina Kocher, Nathan Smith, and Marc-Andre Bedard.

Race time is 15:30 local time, or 9:30 a.m. EST. All races are broadcast live at biathlonworld.com.

Full start list

Makarainen Wins in Front of Hometown Crowd, Boe First Man in Sloppy Kontiolahti Sprint

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

International Biathlon Union Cup 8 was held in unseasonably warm conditions, with sloppy tracks and light winds characterizing the event in Kontiolahti, Finland. Hometown girl Kaisa Makarainen didn’t shoot clean, but she was fast enough to win (20:36.3, 0+1) on the 7.5-kilometer course, followed by Russia’s Olga Zaitseva (+6.1) and Finn Mari Laukkanen (+22.7), both of whom shot clean.

The men benefited from calmer winds but suffered sloppier tracks, with Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Boe shooting clean to take first in 23:33.2 on the 10 k course, followed by French star Martin Fourcade (+7.1) and German Arnd Peiffer, who had one penalty in prone (+7.2, 0+1).

Canadian Rosanna Crawford was the top North American woman, finishing 1:05.8 off the pace to take 13th, with one penalty in prone. Megan Heinicke’s was 15th (1+0), making two Canadian women in the top 15, followed by another Canadian, Zina Kocher, in 23rd (1+1). The top American was Hannah Dreissigacker in 28th (0+1), followed by Americans Susan Dunklee in 29th (1+3), Annelies Cook in 75th (1+4), and Sara Studebaker in 80th (3+3).

The top North American man today was another Canadian, Nathan Smith, finishing in 21st 1:05.4 off the pace, with one penalty in standing. He was followed by teammate Brendan Green in 26th (1+0), Americans Lowell Bailey in 29th (1+1), Tim Burke in 35th (0+1) and Leif Nordgren in 55th (0+2). Canadian Scott Gow was 59th (2+0).

Competition continues on Saturday with a pursuit.

Results: Men | Women

Schempp and Hofer Tie for First in Antholz Sprint, Green Eighth

Friday, January 17th, 2014

In an interesting twist, German Simon Schempp and Italian Lukas Hofer  have tied in the biathlon World Cup 10 k sprint in Antholz, Italy with a time of 24:44.9 . While live-stream video footage initially showed that Schempp had won by 0.3 seconds, race officials soon adjusted the results to show a first place tie.

Arnd Peiffer (GER) finished third 4.3 seconds back.

Canadian Brendan Green had an excellent day after shooting clean and sitting in the lead for beginning portion of the race. He ultimately finished eighth, a career best result for the 27-year-old. His teammate Nathan Smith finished 22nd.

Americans Lowell Bailey and Tim Burke finished 19th and 50th.

Results

 

Bescond Wins First IBU World Cup, Dunklee Notches Fourth in Antholz Sprint

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

After cleaning both shooting stages and pushing hard to the finish in Antholz, Italy, Susan Dunklee (US Biathlon) enjoyed a moment as the race leader on Thursday in the IBU World Cup 7.5-kilometer sprint after edging Norway’s Tora Berger by 1.8 seconds with the fastest time. Not long after, she retained her spot on the podium in third after France’s Anais Bescond came through 10.7 seconds after with the eventual winning time of 20:30.2.

Germany’s Andrea Henkel finished moments later in second, 6.7 seconds back from Bescond, bumping Dunklee to third. Either way, it was still shaping up to be a career-best day for the American.

After Bescond, who had one penalty, captured her first World Cup victory, Dunklee ended up fourth behind Belarusian Darya Domracheva, who had two misses and finished 10.1 seconds back in third. Dunklee’s previous World Cup best was fifth.

Russia’s Yana Romanova placed fifth, with one penalty, 11.8 seconds back, and Berger was sixth (+12.5), also with one miss.

“I thought it was mistake, but I was happy to see my name up there,” Bescond told the IBU after the finish. “With one miss I thought it was not possible for the podium. But I gave my best on the skis … My skis were the key to my win today. The technicians did a good job in preparing them.”

Results

German Men Lose Biathlon Relay to Austrian Neighbors

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

relay start

RUHPOLDING, Germany – Yesterday, the German women’s biathlon team came oh-so-close to delivering a win for the home team in the relay. Today, the men came oh-so-closer.

Leading for several parts of the race, the Germans were skiing together with Austria and Russia on the last loop of the race. Dominik Landertinger (AUT) put on an aggressive charge over the top of one of the last hills, but after the initial surprise, Simon Schempp (GER) was able to stay with him. Schempp even passed over the top of that hill, and led on the fast and dangerous downhill into the stadium. The two dueled to the finish, with Landertinger throwing a leg across the line to earn Austria the win by just 0.1 seconds.

Anton Shipulin was unable to keep up with the pair, and brought Russia in in third place.

Stay tuned for more reporting.

Canada finished eighth, while the U.S. did not field a team.

Results

Switzerland Qualifies 3-Sister Relay Team for Olympics

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Why was Selina Gasparin sobbing as her teammate Irene Cadurisch crossed the finish line in today’s 4 x 5 k World Cup biathlon relay in Ruhpolding, Germany?

It was a day this Gasparin had been waiting for for years. Gasparin is a trailblazer for Swiss women in a sport that has long been seen as for men only in this small, traditional country. As a girl she organized her own competitions and training, then became the first Swiss woman to compete in World Cup races, and then in the Olympics. At age 29, she won the first two World Cups of her career – the first for any Swiss biathlete, man or woman. She’s having a great season.

Being so young, women’s biathlon in Switzerland isn’t particularly deep. But Selina Gasparin spread the love of the sport within her family, and her sisters Elisa (22 years old) and Aita (19 years old) are also now competing on the World Cup. Last season they skied together on a relay team for the first time.

(Reportedly, Aita began biathlon at age 14, and her mother almost didn’t let her because she felt it was inappropriate for a girl to keep a firearm in her living space.)

As three of the best biathletes in Switzerland, it seems from outside that it’s a given they would travel to Sochi together to fill the country’s four quota spots at the Olympics for women’s biathlon. However, Swiss Ski, the governing body for snow sports including biathlon, has strict rules about who can represent the country – they don’t want participation, they want honor and glory. There are multiple ways to qualify, but this season, for instance, athletes need one top-15 or two top-25′s on the World Cup.

Elisa Gasparin, the middle sister, has also fulfilled these requirements and will join Selina. Aita, though, has not – nor has anyone else. It looked as if there wouldn’t be four women to make a relay team in Sochi.

Today in Ruhpolding, however, that changed. A relay team can also qualify even if all of its members don’t do so individually, by getting a top 10 performance in a World Cup competition this season.

During the oldest Gasparin’s career, often there hasn’t even been a relay on the World Cup. Over all the years since she began competing, this is only the eighth time Switzerland has lined up four women together. The previous best finish was 13th.

Elisa Gasparin started things out with only one spare round to tag off in 12th, just 25 seconds from the lead. Selina Gasparin used two spare rounds in prone, but nonetheless managed to catch the leaders: she was one of four women who came into the second exchange within a second of each other. Aita Gasparin shot perfectly to hang on to seventh place, and then Cadurisch tested their nerves by using all three spare rounds in both of her shooting stages.

In the end, though, she still crossed the line in 10th, 17 seconds ahead of the next finisher.

So Switzerland may have been three minutes behind the winning Russians, but those tears were tears of joy. The three Gasparin sisters, along with Cadurisch, are going to the Olympics together, the first Swiss women’s relay team to ever qualify for a Games, and almost certainly one of the only relay teams in any sport that contains three sisters.

Results

Green Completes Canadian Olympic Team Selection

Friday, December 20th, 2013
On the second and final day of the Olympic & IBU Cup Trials in Canmore, Alberta, Brendan Green made the cut as the final athlete selected to Biathlon Canada’s Olympic team. Green won both Thursday’s and Friday’s sprints.
On Friday, national-team members Scott Perras placed second (for the second-straight day) and Marc-Andre Bedard was third.
In the women’s 7.5 k sprint on Friday, Emma Lodge of Biathlon Alberta won in 25:03.7, edging teammate Audrey Vaillancourt by 15.4 seconds and Thursday’s winner, Julia Ransom, also of Biathlon Alberta, in third (+49.6).
With four men and four women, the team includes Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, Scott Perras, Nathan Smith, Brendan Green, Zina Kocher, Rosanna Crawford, Megan Imrie, and Megan Heinicke.
 
According to an email from Biathlon Canada, IBU Cup Team selections will be announced shortly. Those selected will have the opportunity to race in Europe at the World Cup #4, IBU Cup #5-6-7 and Open European Championships.

Semerenko Rebounds from Early Penalty to Win Annecy Pursuit; Crawford 19th

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Third in Saturday’s sprint, Valj Semerenko of Ukraine steadily climbed her way to the top on Sunday in the IBU World Cup women’s 10-kilometer pursuit, winning by 4.2 seconds in 28:05.4. Semerenko had a single penalty in the first prone, but relied on fast skiing and 19-for-20 shooting to edge Russia’s Irina Starykh, who started 12th and finished second with clean shooting.

Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff placed third, 15.5 seconds after Semerenko, with a miss in the third stage. Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic finished fourth (+21.9) with one miss, and Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier cleaned for fifth overall (+28.6).

Leading the way for Canada, Rosanna Crawford climbed from 26th to 19th (+1:47.5) with three penalties, two of which came in the first stage and one more on the second prone. Teammate Megan Heinicke improved from starting 50th (+2:25.2) to finishing 33rd with two misses — one in each prone — and Megan Imrie placed 41st (+3:04.7) with four penalties, three in the third stage and one in the fourth.

Zina Kocher had seven penalties to end up 52nd after starting 45th, and the lone American in the race, Susan Dunklee had five misses to place 53rd of 58.

Results