-Two Canadian biathletes had a few more words to say about their teams’ relay performances in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy, this weekend. The first was Brendan Green, who scrambled for the men’s team. Despite being their top-ranked athlete in the overall World Cup standings, Green used five spare rounds to hit his ten targets and tagged off in 13th. He was sick, and said that he “was just happy to make it through the day,” but that didn’t explain his shooting.
“Conditions yesterday were perfect, so I have no excuse for my shooting and having to use as many spare round as I did,” he told FasterSkier in an e-mail. “It’s frustrating but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Thankfully the other guys were able to perform solid and keep us in the running throughout the race.”
-The top-ranked Canadian woman, Zina Kocher, explained that both Rosanna Crawford and Melanie Schultz had also been sick the previous week, making a top relay finish far from a sure thing. But the women came through and finished ninth, tying their best in the last few years.
“We’ve done two relays this year and both relays have been consistent solid races finishing 9th,” Kocher said. “Yesterday we were so close to 7th and 8th, that a top 8 is possible for us. A few less spare rounds in the range would have had us there.”
She said that the uncharacteristically high number of spare rounds used by the field might have had something to do with the altitude, which at roughly 3400 feet is the highest on the circuit.
“Shooting conditions were pretty good, but I think the altitude in Antholz, and the range approach can make it difficult for clean shooting here,” she said. “It can take athletes by surprise.”
-The U.S. women were less pleased with their 13th-place finish in the relay. Susan Dunklee had this to say:
“To have a good relay, four people have to have decent shooting and decent skiing all on the same day. That’s a lot of pieces that need to come together. We know we have the ability to place in the top ten in this field- the most important relay of the season is World Championships, and that is still to come.”
-Dunklee’s relay teammate Annelies Cook recently got engaged to Pat Coffey, who coaches developing and national team athletes in Lake Placid. Congrats, you two!
-2006 Olympican Carolyn Treacy Bramante and her husband Anthony Bramante, meanwhile, welcomed a son named Leo to the world this weekend. Congrats again!
-Finally, the Under-26/Open European Championships are set to kick off in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia on Friday. The U.S. will field a team including Laura Spector, Hannah Dreissigacker, Russell Currier, Leif Nordgren, Mark Johnson, and Casey Smith. The event is not a part of Canada’s national team program this year.