Wild Rumpus Sports

Glazyrina Drops Appeal, Ineligible to Compete Until Feb. 2019

Ekaterina Glazyrina has withdrawn her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), leaving the 31-year-old Russian biathlete suspended from competition until Feb. 10, 2019 for doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The news regarding a “Termination Order by the President of the CAS Appeals Arbitration Division” concerning her case, which involved her use of a banned substance, came from the International Biathlon Union (IBU) on Friday. It came after Glazyrina officially withdrew her appeal of the IBU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel’s decision on April 24. She has been serving a provisional suspension handed down by the IBU Executive Board since Feb. 10, 2017, and all of her results from Dec. 19, 2013 until that date have been annulled.

Because she is no longer appealing the doping charges, Glazyrina has to serve two years of competition ineligibility. Since her provisional suspension began in February 2017, the last 16 months count toward her two-year suspension.

“The verdict by the IBU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel against Ms. Glazyrina is now legally binding and enforceable,” IBU Acting Secretary General Martin Kuchenmeister said, according to the press release. “This shows that our anti-doping program is working effectively. It also proves the efficiency of the IBU Independent Working Group, which investigated voluminous data from the McLaren reports and the information from the Laboratory Information Management System database revealed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

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)


Russian Biathlon Union Downgraded to Provisional Membership

IBU President Anders Besseberg speaking at a press conference regarding the IBU’s decision to relegate the Russian Biathlon Union to provisional membership on Sunday, Dec. 10. (Screenshot: IBU TV)

On Sunday at the conclusion of the World Cup weekend in Hochfilzen, Austria, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) announced its Executive Board decision to relegate the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) to provisional membership for the remainder of the 2017/2018 season.

Based on a press release, which refers to the IBU Rules outlined in its 2016 Constitution, and IBU President Anders Besseberg, who spoke at a press conference on Sunday, Russia can continue to enter athletes and host IBU events and competitions, including the season-ending World Cup in Tyumen, Russia, March 20-25.

The RBU can participate at IBU Congress meetings but it cannot vote — at least until the IBU Executive Board decides whether or not to restore its full membership next spring.

The decision came as a direct result of the IOC’s recent move to ban Russia as a delegation at the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics.

“It means in practice, they [the RBU] have no right to vote at IBU Congress,” Besseberg said of the IBU’s decision at the press conference. “It means they have no right to bring motions to IBU Congress, they have no right to propose persons for election at IBU Congress. That is the three main things.”

According to the IBU press release:

“The IBU Executive Board will review restitution of the RBU to full membership at a later date but not before the end of the 2017/2018 competition season, subject to the following conditions:

(a) the IOC has lifted the suspension of the ROC [Russian Olympic Committee];

(b) no adverse analytical findings or other anti – doping rule violations (ADRVs) of Russian biathletes committed after 1 January 2017 have been reported;

(c) the RBU fully cooperates with any investigation of any alleged ADRVs in the context of, and the involvement of officials in, the alleged doping conspiracy that was described by the IP Report, Dr Rodchenkov’s affidavits and the IOC Dsciplinary Commission (‘Schmid Commission’) Report.”

Speaking with German media after the press conference, Besseberg said the decision does not affect the Tyumen World Cup or other IBU events, but that is subject to change at future Executive Board meetings or decisions at an extraordinary congress.

Besseberg also said that Victor Maygurov, first vice president of the IBU Executive Board and a member of the Russian Biathlon Union, will not be suspended since he was not mentioned in any of the reports by McLaren, Schmid, or otherwise. Other members of the RBU will be, but Besseberg declined to name them.

Since Besseberg had not heard anything from the RBU about the decision, he assumed it had accepted it. Besseberg said he was surprised that the team meeting wasn’t better attended; most teams were represented by one coach or official. He took that as a positive sign that athletes were focusing on their sport while leaving the politics to their representatives.

“There was some questions from the athletes and of course we were answering the questions the same way we are answering you,” he said during the press conference. “I think it’s very important that we are having informations meetings with those who are in the center … the athletes.”


US Biathlon Names World Cup Team for Trimester 1

Emily Dreissigacker (Craftsbury Green Racing Project/USBA B-team) racing to fifth in the women’s sprint at 2017 US Biathlon Rollerski Championships on Aug. 12 in Jericho, Vt. (Photo: John Lazenby/Lazenbyphoto.com)

(Note: The following has been updated to include comments from US Biathlon Chief of Sport Bernd Eisenbichler and Joanne Reid.)

On Tuesday, US Biathlon’s International Competition Committee (ICC) met to finalize its team for the first trimester of International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup racing (World Cups 1, 2 and 3), selecting five men and four women.

According to a team press release, Paul Schommer (who was named to US Biathlon’s A 3 Team in April) will join Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Leif Nordgren, and Sean Doherty on the men’s team, while Kelsey Dickinson (who won US Biathlon’s rollerski trials) and B-team member Emily Dreissigacker will join Susan Dunklee and Clare Egan on the women’s team. Notably, Joanne Reid (A 3 Team), who was also in the running for World Cup starts, was not selected for the first trimester of racing.

In an email, US Biathlon Chief of Sport Bernd Eisenbichler explained that the decision to take Schommer was more straightforward than choosing between Dreissigacker and Reid.

“[Schommer] was the clear winner of the trials and showed a good and improving level as well as really good attitude throughout the whole training season, so it was a very logical and clear call,” he Eisenbichler.

“It was very tight between Emily and Joanne,” he continued. “We collected a lot of data over the training period for both and looked at that as well as on all the races they competed against each other, especially on the last ones in Canmore. Analysing all of that together, Emily just a had a very tiny advantage over Joanne.”

Reid struggled with health issues during the offseason and “missed some key training” as a result, Eisenbichler explained. “But the last weeks in Canmore showed already that she is on the right track back to a good performance level. We feel that she needs still a good training block now to make sure she is on top of her game from Jan. – March. We all know about her potential and capacity and are not worried about her coming back strong in January.”

In an email, Reid focused on praising Dreissigacker.

“We are all incredibly proud of Emily, who absolutely, beyond a doubt, earned her stripes this year, Reid wrote. “The goal is to put the four women who will perform the best in World Cups 1-3 onto the World Cup team and Emily is one of those women.

“She’s a solid shooter, which is just as important as ski speed in this sport, and when the chips are down she performs,” she continued. “She’s a biathlete I would want on my relay team any day, and to come from last year (when we only started three women in the first world cups) and now to have four solid women and to be able to start a relay is a blessing and will really help out this team.  A World Cup start is a privilege, not a right, and I really admire the ICC for the tough choices they have to make -but this choice would have been an easy one.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the ICC determined the pre-qualification criteria for next season’s (2018/2019) World Cups 1, 2 and 3. Athletes who achieve at one top-25 result this World Cup season or at the 2018 Olympic Games will be eligible. The U.S. will pre-qualify up to three athletes per gender, unless three or fewer start spots exist. In that instance, “up to one less than the start spots can be pre-qualified (i.e. 2 can pre-qualify if only 3 start spots),” the press release stated.

The IBU World Cup opens Nov. 26-Dec. 3 in Östersund, Sweden.


Bailey and Egan Capture Last Wins of U.S. Biathlon Trials Series

Lowell Bailey and Clare Egan won the final sprint competitions of a four-race rollerski biathlon series held in Jericho, Vermont. The races, organized by the U.S. Biathlon Association, serve as trials to select teams for an on-snow camp later this fall in Canmore, Alberta, and eventually for the first period of World Cup racing.

Both Bailey, the 2017 World Champion in the 20 k individual, and Egan, who notched her first World Championships top-20 last season, are pre-qualified for that trip.

Bailey shot perfectly in Sunday’s 10 k sprint, winning by 27 seconds over Sean Doherty and making it a clean sweep as the top American in all four of the trials races (two were held in August, and one on Saturday). Doherty and third-place Leif Nordgren each had three penalties, but Doherty was quicker; Nordgren finished 42.3 seconds behind Bailey. Paul Schommer missed two shots and finished fourth (+1:14.0), the top non-prequalified athlete ahead of fifth-place Russell Currier (+1:21.6 with four penalties).

In the women’s 7.5 k sprint, Egan missed one shot in standing, as did second-place Emily Dreissigacker, who finished 18.4 seconds behind. Maddie Phaneuf shot clean to snag third place, +23.4, and Joanne Reid missed three shots to take fourth (+1:17.5).

Based on the results of the trials series, USBA’s International Competition Committee will recommend a roster for the Canmore camp. Bailey, Doherty, Nordgren, Tim Burke, Egan, and Susan Dunklee – who did not race this weekend due to illness – are prequalified, and two to four more athletes will be named.



North American/Canadian Biathlon Championships Recap

Race day at 2017 North American & Canadian Biathlon Championships in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Biathlon Alberta/Facebook)

The 2017 North American and Canadian Biathlon Championships were held as a single event last week in Canmore, Alberta, with sprints, individual races, pursuits, and relays taking place March 8-12.

On Day 1, Matt Neumann of British Columbia took the victory in the men’s 10-kilometer sprint, beating American Max Durtschi of US Biathlon by 18.9 seconds in 29:28.5 minutes. American Bill Bowler finished third (+46.5), and all three of the podium finishers shot 9-for-10, with Neumann and Durtschi missing a standing shot and Bowler missing one in prone.

In the junior men’s 10 k sprint, Pearce Hanna (Alberta) shot clean to win in 29:22.9, while Trevor Kiers (Ontario) finished 1:20.6 back in second with one penalty (0+1). Also shooting clean, Teo Sanchez (Quebec) finished third (+3:36).

Four junior women raced 7.5 k, with Alberta’s Darya Sepandj taking the win by 1:23.2 minutes in 26:40.8. Sepandj won despite four penalties (1+3), Emily Dickson of British Columbia placed second with two misses (1+1), and Caitlin Campbell (Prince Edward Island) finished third (+3:59.7) with six penalties (4+2).

Twenty women contested the youth women’s 6 k sprint, which Shilo Rousseau (Ontario) won by 1:44.8 in 19:55.0 with one penalty (1+0). Benita Peiffer (British Columbia) finished second with four penalties (2+2), and Gillian Gowling was third (+2:36) with one miss (0+1).

Thomas Hulsman (Alberta) shot clean in the youth men’s 7.5 k sprint to win in 21:52.4, 1:16.4 minutes ahead of Adam Runnalls, also of Alberta, in second place with six penalties (3+3). Quebec’s Youth World Champion Leo Grandbois finished third (+1:18) with five misses (3+2).

Sprint results


In the individual races on Thursday, March 9, Kurtis Wenzel (Alberta) raced to a 40.2-second win in the men’s 15 k, shooting four penalties (0+2+1+1) and finishing in 44:20.2. Neumann reached the podium for the second-straight day despite six misses (2+1+2+1), as did Bowler in third (+1:45.9) with six penalties as well (1+2+2+1).

André Boudreau (Prince Edward Island) won the junior men’s 12.5 k individual with 19-for-20 shooting (0+1+0+0). He finished in 40:04.5, nearly two minutes faster than anyone else. Charles Pepin (Quebec) placed second (+1:55.4), with five misses (1+1+1+2), and Kiers returned to the podium in third (+2:43.2) despite seven misses (2+1+2+2).

Hulsman raced to his second-straight win in the youth men’s 10 k, finishing with three penalties (1+1+1+0) in 32:11.2. British Columbia’s Bobby Kreitz placed second (+38.2) with four misses (2+2+0+0), and Grandbois repeated in third (+45.9) with five penalties (0+1+3+1).

Sepandj won her second-straight race as well in the junior women’s 10 k in 41:16.6 with eight penalties (1+3+2+2). Campbell placed second (+2:22.4) with seven misses (4+1+2+0) and Alberta’s Ashley Runnalls was third (+10:57.6) with 11 penalties (3+0+5+3).

Peiffer took the win in the youth women’s 7.5 k in 30:08.7 with five penalties (1+1+0+3). Rousseau finished 1:04.1 back in second place with six penalties (2+4+0+0), and Australia’s Gabrielle Hawkins reached the podium in third (+2:43.4) despite seven misses (1+3+2+1).

Individual results


After a rest day, racers competed in pursuits of varying distances on Saturday, March 11. Alexandre Dupuis (Ontario) won the men’s 12.5 k pursuit by 39.1 seconds in 37:43 minutes after shooting four penalties (1+0+2+1). Durtschi finished second with seven misses (2+3+0+2), and Wenzel was third (+1:00.1) with three misses (1+1+0+1).

Hanna pulled out his second victory of the championships in the junior men’s 12.5 k, finishing 23.6 seconds ahead of Kiers in second with a winning time of 38:42.1. Hanna had six penalties (1+3+2+0), Kiers accumulated eighth (2+1+2+3), and Lucas Boudreau (Prince Edward Island) reached the podium in third (+3:59.2) with three penalties (1+1+0+1).

Adam Runnalls won the youth men’s 10 k pursuit by 1:09.7 over Hulsman, finishing first in 30:54.9. Runnalls shot five penalties (1+1+2+1), Hulsman had three (1+0+2+0), and Alberta swept the podium with Sergey Bochkarnikov in third (+1:14) with four misses (0+1+0+3).

Dickson continued to ascend up the podium in the junior women’s category, winning the 10 k pursuit in 36:52.5 with four misses (1+0+2+1). Sepandj finished 1:12.4 back in second place with eight penalties (2+2+2+2), and Campbell was third (+6:02.2) with 10 misses (4+2+3+1).

Rousseau notched her second win of the week in the youth women’s 7.5 k pursuit, which she took by 43.3 seconds over Peiffer in 28:31.7. Rousseau had four misses (1+1+0+2), Peiffer missed five (0+0+3+2), and Alberta’s Anna Sellers finished 2:48.2 back in third with four penalties (1+0+1+2).

Pursuit results 


Sunday, the final day of the championships, was co-ed relay day. The men and women teamed up in the senior category for a 3 x 6 k mixed relay, which Alberta 2’s Wenzel, Zina Kocher and Tyson Smith won in 56:08.2. Both Wenzel and Smith shot clean, and Kocher had a miss in each stage (1+1). Ontario placed second (+42.1) with Kiers, Dupuis and Erin Yungblut. After Kiers had three prone misses, Dupuis and Yungblut shot clean. Alberta 1 finished third (+1:45.7) with Matt Strum, Jessica Paterson and Nate Gerwin tallying just two misses on Strum’s first leg.

In the junior 3 x 6 k relay, Alberta 1’s Hanna, Sepandj and Chad Berling won by 46.5 seconds in 57:34.8. Hanna and Berling cleaned while Sepandj missed three (2+1). British Columbia took second with Angus Tweedie, Dickson and Jarod Algra tallying just two misses on Dickson’s second leg, and PEI’s Team Spud was third (+1:06) with Lucas Boudreau, Campbell and Andre Boudreau all shooting clean.

British Columbia raced to the win in the youth 3 x 6 k with Logan Sherba, Peiffer and Kreitz, all of which cleaned, in 56:57.7. Ontario 1 was second (+30.5) with Olivier Gervais, Rousseau and Tobias Quinn shooting clean as well, and Alberta 1 bested three other Alberta teams for third place (+3:30.8) with Hulsman, Sellers and Adam Runnalls combining for six misses.

Relay results

Complete results


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)


Olympian Lowell Bailey Joins Bridger Biathlon Club Board

US Biathlon's Lowell Bailey in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

US Biathlon’s Lowell Bailey in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

(Press release)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (June 29, 2016) – The Bridger Biathlon Club (BBC) announced today the appointment of three-time Olympian, Lowell Bailey, to its Board of Directors. BBC, a local nonprofit community organization operating at the Bohart Ranch Cross-Country Ski Center in Bridger Canyon, was established in 2014 with a focus on promoting athletic achievement and healthy living through the sport of biathlon.

Bailey, a current member of the United States Biathlon Team, brings unprecedented resources and knowledge that will elevate the Board in their understanding of biathlon, the development of robust youth programs, current best practices for trail design, and opportunities to bridge local skiing to the national and international level.

Having competed on the World Cup Circuit for over a decade and internationally since 1999, Bailey has competed in the last three Olympic Games and skied and shot his way to six top-ten finishes at World Championships, securing a personal best World Cup silver medal in 2014. This past season Bailey was ranked 17th in overall World Cup standings, and ranked as the number one prone shooter in the world. Lowell is currently training for the 2016-17 World Cup season with his sights on the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyong-Chang, South Korea. His eighth-place finish at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics represents the highest Olympic result ever achieved by an American biathlete. Lowell hopes to improve on this by leading the U.S. Biathlon Team to its first-ever Olympic medal in 2018.

US Biathlon's Lowell Bailey competing in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

US Biathlon’s Lowell Bailey competing in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

Biathlon, a sport wildly popular in Europe that has been gaining momentum in the U.S. in recent years, combines rifle marksmanship with cross-country skiing. This board appointment comes at a time when the Portland, Maine-based U.S. Biathlon Association (USBA) is ramping up its development programs and is increasingly focusing resources on youth biathlon elsewhere in the country. Bailey, also a USBA board member and an Athlete Representative for the International Biathlon Union (IBU), is in the position to represent and advocate for the sport of biathlon at a local, regional, and international level.

There is a deep history of biathlon in Bozeman, home to many former internationally ranked biathletes including Stuart Jennings, Kari Swenson and Brian Wadsworth, who all now serve on BBC’s Board along with Carol Smith as Board Chair. Bailey, who grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, cares deeply about promoting healthy, active outdoor lifestyles and understands the positive impact that outdoor sports and recreation can have on the lives of youth and parents alike. The pursuit of outdoor sport from a young age instills a set of lifelong skills and values – from energetic novices to Olympic hopefuls. Bailey is excited to help grow BBC as a community resource for all ages and abilities.

BBC will be working with Bohart Ranch and neighboring Crosscut Ranch landowners to carry forward the legacy of this incredible recreational resource. The club has already installed a state-of-the-art biathlon range and expanded trail system that supports the club’s growing roster of kids, ages 9-16, and with Bailey’s guidance will continue making advances towards becoming a world-class recreational venue for the local community.

BBC provides year-round training opportunities for youth athletes seeking to engage in human-powered outdoor sports including Nordic skiing and biathlon. BBC seeks to promote and inspire physical fitness, athletic excellence and personal growth. For more information on BBC and its programs, visit BBC’s Facebook page or website.


European Championships Roundup: Tyumen Pursuits and Mass Starts

Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (left) sprints past Russia’s Anastasia Zagoruiko on the final meters of the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit race at the 2016 Open European Championships. (Photo: IBU)

Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (left) sprints past Russia’s Anastasia Zagoruiko on the final meters of the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit to place third at the 2016 Open European Championships. (Photo: IBU)

By Harald Zimmer

It would be understandable if this week, Russia’s Anastasia Zagoruiko experienced the type of nightmare where you are trying to run away from someone, but your legs seem to idle and you just cannot gain any ground. The figure chasing her in her dreams might be a young woman in the bright red spandex race suit of the Norwegian ski team.

Saturday was the windiest day of the competition week at the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) 2016 Open European Championships in Tyumen, Russia. Nadezda Skardino of Belarus managed to cope best with the difficult conditions, shooting clean in the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit until the final standing stage, when she incurred two penalties narrowly missing her first and last shot (0+0+0+2).

Regardless, she came out of the penalty lap and back on the course with a small lead to Germany’s Karolin Horchler who had shot clean in her last shooting, and defended it into the finish in a time of 30:01.7 minutes.

“Today I felt much better than during the sprint [where she placed fifth],” Skardino told reporters, according to an IBU press release. “Unfortunately before the sprint I had a long trip. But during the last few days I got some sleep and rest. So today, I felt good and confident, and glad to win.”

Behind Skardino, Horchler held her position from the sprint to repeat her silver medal, finishing 7.4 seconds back, also with two penalties (1+0+1+0).

“Silver medal number 2,” Horchler later posted on her Facebook page. “I am extremely happy about my competition today, which was exciting until the finish. With this atmosphere and in this brilliant stadium it is just fun. Thanks to the whole team and to everyone for keeping your fingers crossed.”

Third place went to 19-year-old Norwegian Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold, also a gold medalist in pursuit at the 2015 Youth/Junior World Championships in Minsk, Belarus, who, by her own account was racing in her international debut against “senior” athletes this week in Tyumen.

In an exciting finish, she still caught up to Russia’s 27-year-old Zagoruiko, who had left the range after the final shooting five seconds ahead and held a lead until the last split time. But on the final downhill Tandrevold got into the draft of the Russian, and sprinted past Zagoruiko on the finish stretch without even using her poles. Tandrevold raised her arms and screamed in excitement as she crossed the line 0.3 seconds ahead to secure the bronze medal (+14.1, with three penalties).

“My first sprint win ever, just at the right time!” Tandrevold posted on Instagram, according to a translation.

After the noise level in the “Pearl of Siberia” arena in Tyumen initially dropped in a bit of a shock, the fair Russian audience quickly returned to cheering for the remaining athletes as they came into the finish. Sprint winner Nadine Horchler, Karolin’s older sister, finished the pursuit in sixth place (+37.8) with four penalties.

While the race with 60 starters wrapped up, the narrowly beaten Zagoruiko was crying in the finish pen, and had to be consoled by teammates and coaches. The spectators tried to cheer her up by giving her the biggest round of applause during the flower ceremony immediately following the race, though they also celebrated Tandrevold when she jumped for joy on the podium.

Kummer Takes Gold in Women’s Mass Start

Déjà vu: Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (bib 4) celebrates her bronze medal after beating Russians Olga Iakushova (bib 28) and Anastasia Zagoruiko (bib 3) in a sprint to the line in the women’s 12.5-kilometer mass start at the 2016 Open European Championships in Tyumen, Russia. (Photo: IBU)

Déjà vu: Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (bib 4) celebrates her bronze medal after beating Russians Olga Iakushova (bib 28) and Anastasia Zagoruiko (bib 3) in a sprint to the line in the women’s 12.5-kilometer mass start at the 2016 Open European Championships in Tyumen, Russia. (Photo: IBU)

On Sunday in the women’s 12.5 k mass start, almost the same scene as in the pursuit a day before repeated itself: five athletes enter the last loop within about 30 seconds of each other, and in the finish a certain Norwegian junior athlete had sprinted her way from fifth to third place.

In strong snowfall, Germany’s Luise Kummer was able to defend a lead after the final shooting to win gold in a time of 36:05.1 with two penalties in the four shooting stages (1+0+0+1). She crossed the line 8 seconds ahead of Slovakia’s Paulina Fialkova, who had three penalties yet reduced the gap to Kummer by 10.5 seconds, but could not quite catch up to her.

“It was both [wind and nervousness], and the third thing was that my legs were shaking so much, so I just had to take more seconds than normally,” Kummer said of her final stage in the press conference. “I think at the third shooting stage I was luckier than everyone, I just took that chance and hit all the targets. Today in the morning I felt really tired, but from the third leg I felt better and more confident, and in the end I was quite happy that I could win.”

A few seconds behind Kummer and Fialkova, Norway’s Tandrevold again managed to close a gap of 5 and 10 seconds on the final loop to Russians Zagoruiko and Olga Iakushova, respectively, as she had done in the pursuit the day before. She made use of her fast skis and technique for the best finish out of the final downhill to win the sprint to the line, and again claimed the bronze medal (+11.3, with four penalties).

Iakushova finished fourth (+11.8, with three penalties), and Zagoruiko was fifth (+12.8, also with three penalties), with the Russians once again losing their lead and the chance at a medal to the young Norwegian on the final meters.

It was the second medal for Kummer at the European Championships after a silver medal in the single mixed relay with her partner Matthias Dorfer, and also the second for Fialkova after a silver medal in the mixed relay for Slovakia. Both Kummer and Fialkova competed on the IBU World Cup this season, with a 14th place in the sprint in Canmore, Alberta, the best result for Kummer and a sixth place in the pursuit in Ruhpolding, Germany, the best one for Fialkova.

The speedy Tandrevold posted the second-best course time behind Russia’s Svetlana Mirova (who finished 11th due to five penalties), wrapping up a great week with her third bronze medal (single mixed, pursuit, and mass start) at the European Championships, where she competed against senior athletes for the first time.

Results: Women’s pursuit | Mass start

Babikov Outsprints Teammate Garanichev to Win Men’s Pursuit

Russia’s Anton Babikov lunges across the line ahead of teammate Evgeniy Garanichev in the men’s pursuit race at the 2016 Open European Championships. (Photo: IBU)

Russia’s Anton Babikov lunges across the line ahead of teammate Evgeniy Garanichev in the men’s pursuit race at the 2016 Open European Championships. (Photo: IBU)

At least on the men’s side, the Russian fans in Tyumen had plenty to cheer for, as Russia’s Evgeniy Garanichev and his younger teammate Anton Babikov dominated the men’s 12.5 k pursuit race on Saturday evening, skiing fast and shooting clean until both missed a shot in the last standing shooting.

The race was decided only on the last meters, after Garanichev had gone on the final loop with a 0.8 second lead and Babikov right behind him. Down the final stretch both athletes raced next to each other, with Babikov winning the lunge into the finish by 0.1 seconds despite Garanichev’s best efforts falling to the ground as he crossed the line.

“On the final lap I understood that both of us had enough power, so there was no reason to try to run away from him,” Babikov commented on his race against Garanichev, according to an IBU press release. “So I thought we could have a good battle in the finish sprint. I knew how he can finish fast, I saw it from the previous competitions. At the same time I knew my strengths and I took advantage of it.”

“Yes, I noticed that Evgeniy made a mistake and unfortunately I cannot completely ignore those moments,” Babikov added when questioned about the last shooting. “But luckily I missed only one target as well. This miss will be a stimulus to work on that.”

It was the first time that Garanichev got beaten during a race in Tyumen this week, after winning gold in the mixed relay in a similarly close sprint against Slovakia’s Martin Otcenas and then also winning the individual start 10-kilometer sprint on Thursday.

Coming into the finish with a significant gap 46 seconds later, the bronze medal went to Germany’s Florian Graf, celebrating across the line after he had narrowly missed a medal coming in fourth place in the sprint and mixed relay before.

“Yeeees there she is!! The first medal of the season and then even at the European Championships,” Graf later commented on his Facebook page, according to a translation. “The bronze medal means a lot to me and I am enormously happy!!!“

Graf Wins Men’s Mass Start

Germany’s Florian Graf competing in the men’s 15-kilometer mass start at the 2016 Open European Championships in Tyumen, Russia, on his way to winning the gold medal. (Photo: IBU)

Germany’s Florian Graf competing in the men’s 15-kilometer mass start at the 2016 Open European Championships in Tyumen, Russia, on his way to winning the gold medal. (Photo: IBU)

On the next day following his bronze medal, things went even better for Graf in the 15 k mass start, winning gold in a time of 38:20.5 with only one penalty (0+1+0+0).

In easier wind conditions than during the women’s race, half the field stayed clean initially, and a fairly large group of eight biathletes remained close together until the third shooting. In the last stage, the leaders Germany’s Matthias Bischl (who finished sixth) and Austria’s Tobias Eberhard (who finished eighth) fell out of the top group with two penalties, while three athletes at the top remained clean and Russia’s Babikov only incurred one miss to return to the course in third place

On the final loop, Graf was caught by 33-years-old biathlon veteran Jaroslav Soukup of the Czech Republic making up a six second difference. But Soukup could not create a gap on the climbs, and with fast skis Graf was able to take the lead again out of the last downhill into the arena.

Seeing that he was unable to close the gap once more, Soukup stopped pushing hard and slid into the finish 4.1 seconds behind Graf to win silver.

Similar to Tandrevold in the women’s race, Bulgaria’s Vladimir Iliev managed to catch up to and ultimately overtake Babikov by skiing the fastest course time on the final loop (and third-fastest overall) to claim the bronze medal, 8.5 seconds behind Graf. After overcoming a 14.0 second gap from the last shooting stage, Iliev did not have to get into a sprint against the winner of the pursuit race on Saturday, who finished fourth (+14.3, with one penalty).

Graf crossed the line with a severely bleeding nose, though it was unclear what had caused the injury, and he did not elaborate on this in his first statements.

“I am very happy to be here today,” Graf said, according to an IBU press release. “It was a great battle with Jaroslav. I had only one mistake, so I am very glad about how I did my race. I did not feel so good, but was very happy about my shooting and skis.”

Asked about his experience in Tyumen, Graf added: “It is great place here, I really like it. I like the crowds, the public is very crazy, but in a good way, so I enjoyed staying and competing here.”

“Good things come to those who wait! I am so incredibly happy about the title European Champion in the mass start,” Graf later wrote on his Facebook page.

Garanichev skipped the mass start that he would have been qualified for, likely in order to get some additional rest ahead of the upcoming World Championships.

Results: Men’s pursuit | Mass start

World Championships

While the European Championships were the season highlight for many of the athletes competing in Tyumen, some will also make the trip to the World Championships in Oslo, Norway, beginning Thursday, March 3 with the mixed relay.

For Russia, Garanichev is sure to be on the team, but head coach Ricco Gross insinuated that he might add a few more of the young athletes, such as Babikov, who had very strong results during the last week of competitions in Tyumen.


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 a single miss.

Scott Gow, who placed eighth (+1:33.6), also made the World Cup team for Period 1.

Matt Neumann, Pearce Hanna, Scott Perras, and Carsen Campbell finished fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively, to secure their spot on the IBU Cup men’s team.

While Crawford and Megan Tandy (formerly Heinicke) were prequalified for the women’s World Cup team, Zina Kocher and Julia Ransom were also nominated on Friday. Kocher placed third, 52.6 seconds behind Crawford, who won the sprint in 26:53.3 with a single miss. Ransom was fourth (+1:02.3), with two penalties. Kocher had three misses and finished 15 seconds behind Emma Lunder, who was second on Friday with two penalties.

Lunder, who ended up 37.6 seconds off Crawford’s winning time, was named to the IBU Cup team, along with Audrey Vaillancourt, Sarah Beaudry, Erin Yungblut, and Leilani Tam von Burg. According to Biathlon Canada’s team announcement, Yungblut declined her selection to the team.

Vaillancourt placed fifth on Friday, Beaudry was sixth, Yungblut seventh, and Tam von Burg eighth out of 10 women.

Friday’s 7.5/10 k sprint results

Tuesday’s 7.5 k/10 k individual results

Canada’s Trimester 1 Teams:

World Cup men

  1. Nathan Smith***
  2. Brendan Green***
  3. Christian Gow
  4. Macx Davies
  5. Scott Gow

World Cup women

  1. Rosanna Crawford***
  2. Megan Tandy***
  3. Zina Kocher
  4. Julia Ransom

***pre-selected based on performances from last season

IBU Cup men

  1. Matthew Neumann
  2. Pearce Hanna
  3. Scott Perras
  4. Carsen Campbell

IBU Cup women

  1. Emma Lunder
  2. Audrey Vaillancourt
  3. Sarah Beaudry
  4. Erin Yungblut**
  5. Leilani Tam von Burg

** declined selection


Anna Kryvonos, Kirill Sterltsov Win Opening Races of IBU Youth World Champs

By Evan Girard

The ultimate test of the best youth and junior biathletes kicked off Wednesday at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Minsk-Raubichi, Belarus. Youth skiers, ages 18 and under, took to the stage first for the individual races. Youth women raced 10 kilometers and youth men raced 12.5 k each with four trips to the range, alternating prone and standing positions, with each miss adding one minute to an athlete’s finishing time.

First on course was a group of 83 youth women. Many of the early starters raced well but the podium would not be decided until the end of the race. Elizaveta Kaplina of Russia was the 72nd woman to start her race and moved into second at the finish. Kaplina’s time in second was short lived when the 75th starter, Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold claimed, and ultimately held onto, the silver-medal position.

Ukrainian Anna Kryvonos was steady on the shooting range, missing only a single target on her second trip to the range on her way to the fastest time of 30:09.1 to claim the first gold medal of the week.

Both Tandrevold and Kaplina missed two targets each, though it was Tandrevold that gained the advantage on the trail, finishing second by 18.8 seconds and beating Kaplina by 9.9 seconds.

American Siena Ellingson was the top North American of the day, finishing 30th(+5:16.5) with five misses (1+2+1+1). Canada’s Megan Bankes claimed 42nd (+6:44.1) with eight penalties (1+3+3+1). Also for the U.S., Amanda Kautzer and Chloe Levins both missed eight targets, finishing 54th (+8:13.9) and 55th (+8:20.4), respectively.

The second Canadian youth woman, Bryn Robertson, was 66th (+9:22.5), also with eight misses. American Hannah Streinz took 70th (+11:21.3) with 11 penalties.

Youth men were the next athletes to take to the tracks, this time skiing the 2.5 k loop five times. Kirill Sterltsov of Russia narrowly came back to achieve the fastest time of 35:04.8 and to become youth world champion despite missing two targets in the opening half of the race.

Anders Emil Schiellerup of Denmark took full advantage of his early start as the third starter who went on to hit the perfect 20-for-20 and put the pressure on every athlete that followed. He finished just 4.7 seconds behind the winner to earn second.

Igor Shetko matched his Russian teammate Sterltsov’s shooting, but not his speed on course to finish 15.6 seconds off his pace in third.

For the North American men, Canada’s Pearce Hanna was the top finisher in 32nd (+3:56.9), missing six targets (1+2+1+2).

Americans Paul Thomas Everett finished 35th (+4:39.4), Cameron Christiansen was 51st(+6:35.7), and Sam Zabell was 70th (+9:00.9) all incurring five misses on the shooting range. Also for the U.S., Alexander Kilby was 74th (+10:44.8) with nine misses.

Results: Men | Women



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.”

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

– 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/)

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

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


Zlatkauskas Latest Biathlete to be Banned By IBU Anti-Doping

(IBU press release)

Decision of the IBU Anti-Doping Hearing Panel in the case of Lithuanian biathlete Karolis ZLATKAUSKAS

The Anti-Doping Hearing Panel of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) at a hearing before the panel of arbitrators at the IBU Headquarters in Salzburg, Austria on March 24, 2014 made the following decision on July 14, 2014.

1. The athlete Mr. Karolis ZLATKAUSKAS (LTU) is ineligible to compete for a period of two years, commencing from December 19, 2013.

2. All competition results of Mr. Karolis ZLATKAUSKAS obtained from the date of the sample was collected (December 19, 2013) are disqualified with all of the resulting consequences.

The test was conducted on December 19, 2013 in Obertilliach (AUT) as an Out-of-Competition test.

Details on this decision can be found on the IBU website: www.biathlonworld.com.

The case can now be appealed within 21 days to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).


Geraghty-Moats Nominated to Women’s Ski Jumping Team

Tara Geraghty-Moats (Photo: http://tgm-skitolivelivetoski.blogspot.se)

Tara Geraghty-Moats (Photo: Geraghty-Moats/tgm-skitolivelivetoski.blogspot.se)

After a biathlon career that saw her land a top-20 result at 2012 World Junior Championships, Tara Geraghty-Moats is returning to an earlier love in the world of sports: flying though the air. A Nordic-Combined athlete as a younger junior, Geraghty-Moats decided to compete in Ski Jumping National Championships last fall, where after only a few practice jumps in the last few years she finished fifth. That netted her a nomination to the national team this season, which she happily accepted.

“We are just starting summer jumping, so apart from conditioning, I haven’t put that much training time in as a ‘Special Jumper’,” Geraghty-Moats wrote in an e-mail to FasterSkier. “I’m in Park City and will have some of my first jumps of the season with the national team, on Saturday. So far everything is going great. I’m thrilled be back in the ski jumping world.”

In the past season she competed in jumping competitions in addition to biathlon races, traveling around the U.S. as well as to Lahti, Finland, for Continental Cup competitions.

The decision to leave biathlon is final, and Geraghty-Moats recently posted on her blog that she was selling her rifle stock.

“I miss biathlon quite a bit, but there were a lot of factors that lead me to feel biathlon was not a good an option for my future right now, regardless of my return to ski jumping,” she wrote in her e-mail.

But she isn’t completely leaving the endurance-based Nordic world behind.

“As for missing roller skiing?” she wrote. “I don’t miss it at all… because I haven’t stopped. I think roller skiing is good cross training, and there is also the factor that Women’s Nordic-combined may soon become a reality. The only reason I would stop, is if I, or my coach felt it negatively impacted my jumping.”


Russians Top Both Podiums in Junior World Sprints

It was a double victory for Russia on the first day of junior racing at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Youth/Junior World Championships in Presque Isle, Maine.

Evgeniya Pavlova was one of two women to clean the two-stage 7.5-kilometer sprint. Kelsey Joan Dickinson of the U.S. was the other in 22nd, 2:17 behind Pavlova in first. Pavlova edged Kazakhstan’s Galina Vishnevskaya by just 0.3 seconds for the win. Vishnevskaya placed second with a single standing penalty, and Germany’s Annika Knoll was 38.7 seconds back in third.

During the race, Pavlova took the lead over Knoll, then awaited her fate while Vishnevskaya took a half-second lead with a clean prone. The penalty put her 22 seconds behind with 1 k to go, but Vishnevskaya closed hard, coming within hundredths of a second of the win.

“I thought until the last meter that I might win,” Vishnevskaya said, according to an IBU press release. “My coaches told me on the tracks that I was getting closer all of the time.”

“I was very nervous watching as Galina came to the finish,” Pavlova said. “I still have not realized that I am World Champion.”

Temperatures were almost as cold as Friday at the start of the women’s race, rising from -11 at dawn to 5 degrees Fahrenheit at go-time, according to the press release. The wind was much less of an issue, however, with a gentle breeze blowing across the range.

Two Russians landed in the top three of the men’s 10 k sprint, with Alexander Povarnitsyn racing to the victory with a single standing penalty. Eduard Latypov took bronze with two misses, one in each stage, finishing 16.5 seconds after his teammate.

Norway’s Tore Leren was the only man to hit all 10 targets and notched second, 13.4 seconds back.

The Russian squad has been in Presque Isle for more than two weeks, and Povarnitsyn said training there has paid off.

“We had plenty of time to adjust to the nine-hour time difference,” he told IB. “We had plenty of time to learn these tracks, which are quite technical. Earlier this week, we worked on how to handle the technical turns.”

Canada’s Carsen Campbell led the North Americans in 14th with two standing penalties to finish 1:35.1 behind the winner.

As for the rest of the North American men, Canada’s Christian Gow placed 21st (2+0), American  Tyler Mark Gustafson took 43rd (1+1), Canada’s Brett Davie was 49th (3+1), Jakob Ellingson of the U.S. was 53rd (1+1), Canada’s Stuart Harden was 54th (0+4), and American Jacob Dalberg was 56th (3+1).

After Dickinson, Canada’s Erin Yungblut placed 36th (1+1), American Tara Geraghty-Moats was 42nd (2+3), and Canada’s Rose-Marie Cote was disqualified.

Results: Women | Men

Complete schedule


Canada Selects World Cup #4, IBU Cup Tour Team

Following the Olympic & IBU Cup Trials from Dec 19-20 in Canmore, Alberta, Biathlon Canada selected the following athletes to its IBU Cup Tour Team:
World Cup #4:
  • Matthew Neumann (Rocky Mountain Racers)
  • Marc-André Bédard (National Team)
  • Macx Davies (National Team)
  • Julia Ransom (Biathlon Alberta)
  • Audrey Vaillancourt (National Team)
  • Emma Lodge (Biathlon Alberta)
  • Claude Godbout (Biathlon Alberta)
They will be joined for IBU Cup 4, 5 and 6 by:
  • Carsen Campbell (Biathlon Alberta)
  • Scott Gow (National Team)
  • Sarah Beaudry (Biathlon Alberta)
  • Erin Yungblut (Biathlon Alberta)


Trials results: Men | Women


Cook, Nordgren Named to U.S. Olympic Team

NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine (December 19, 2013) – As the first trimester of the IBU World Cup season comes to a close, US Biathlon is pleased to announce that Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, NY) and Leif Nordgren (Marine, MN) have been nominated to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team.
Cook and Nordgren join Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY), and Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT), whose nominations to the Olympic Team were announced in November.

Up to two male and two female biathletes – Bailey, Burke and Dunklee –  were eligible to earn early nominations to the Olympic Team during the 2012-13 season by gaining two top-15 finishes in World Cup or World Championship competition, or by having a top-30 overall World Cup ranking. At least one woman and one man – Cook and Nordgren –  have been nominated following the December World Cups, which concluded on Dec 15th.


The remaining selections for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team will be made in January 2014. All nominations are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.


A member of the U.S. Biathlon team since 2009, and currently in her third season on the IBU World Cup circuit, Cook, 29, posted two top-20 finishes during the 2012-13 World Cup season – 14th (individual) and 18th (sprint), both at the Sochi World Cup. For more information about Annelies, please visit her athlete profile.


“I am very relieved to be named to the Olympic Team; it is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid,” said Cook. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet, and I think I will be most excited when the entire team is named and we can look forward to it together. These past few weeks of racing were not exactly what I was hoping for so it is really good that I can just focus on training and recovering now. It is good to have a break and be at home for Christmas to prepare.”


Nordgren, 24, is in his fourth year competing on the IBU World Cup circuit. A strong relay anchor, he contributed to Team USA’s sixth place men’s relay finish at the 2011 IBU World Championships in Khanty-Mansiysk, a 10th place finish at the 2010 World Championships in Ruhpolding, and a 12thplace finish at the 2013 IBU World Championships in Nove Mesto, CZE. As a junior, Nordgren posted two top-10 finishes – fifth (mass start) and sixth (pursuit) – in the 2010 IBU Junior World Championships in Torsby, Sweden. For more information on Leif, please visit his athlete profile.


“I’m not sure it’s still really sunk in yet, but I’m pretty excited,” said Nordgren. “I tried not to think about the qualification process too much this last trimester, but I definitely couldn’t help myself sometimes. I’m still a little disappointed with how most of my races went so far this year; I’ve struggled with some sickness as well. I’m looking forward to getting back to a little training over the break and starting to ramp up towards the Games. This is a lifelong dream come true, and I’m really excited to be a part of the team!”


“I am very excited to see Annelies and Leif qualify for the team, said Max Cobb, US Biathlon CEO. “Both have scored top-20 at the World Cup and they both had great training this year. I am confident that all their hard work will allow them to score some personal best performances this winter and that is a very exciting prospect.”


“For both it will be their first Olympics, so qualifying early will take a big burden off their shoulders and now they can focus on executing what they worked hard on during the training season,” said Bernd Eisenbichler, US Biathlon High Performance Director. “Both clearly belong and earned their spots on the team for Sochi. I am excited to have them both on the team.”


Barnes, Smith and Currier Named to Winter IBU Cup Team


At the conclusion of yesterday’s IBU Cup Team Trials in Mt. Itasca, MN, US Biathlon’s International Competition Committee (ICC) named three athletes to the IBU Cup Team. Tracy Barnes (Durango Biathlon Club/Durango, CO) and Casey Smith (Maine Winter Sports Center/Winthrop WA) won the trials, earning a spot on the team. Russell Currier (Maine Winter Sports Center/Stockholm, ME) was named by discretion based on his strong second place ranking at the trials and his strong ski speed throughout the races.


Barnes, Smith and Currier will join Lanny Barnes (Durango, CO), Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID),Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, VT), Jeremy Teela (Heber City, UT) and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, NH) at the IBU Cup in Ridnaun, Italy, January 3-5, 2014.


Three women and two men will be nominated to the US Biathlon 2014 Olympic Team from the IBU Cup race in Ridnaun. Extended results from the IBU Cup Team Trials are available here.



Green Completes Canadian Olympic Team Selection

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.


Green, Ransom Win Openers at Canadian Olympic & IBU Cup Trials

Brendan Green and Julia Ransom won the first races of Biathlon Canada’s Olympic & IBU Cup Tour Trials on Thursday in Canmore, Alberta. Fresh off the IBU World Cup, Green ran away with the 10-kilometre sprint, winning by a minute and 14 seconds ahead of fellow national-team member Scott Gow.

“We had cool temps, which made the course slow to ski on, and made it hard to stay warm,” Gow explained in an email. “At the start of zero we had calm wind conditions in the range, but by the start of the race the wind was variable and somewhat challenging.”

After Green won with a single standing penalty in 27:29.2, Gow placed second with a penalty in each of the two stages. Tyson Smith (FNSC) cleaned both stages to finish third (+1:45.5).

In the women’s 7.5 k, Ransom (Biathlon Alberta) beat teammate Audrey Vaillancourt by more than a minute in 25:00.6. Ransom cleaned both stages, Vaillancourt placed second (+1:02.1) with three prone misses, and Sarah Beaudry (Biathlon Alberta) finished third (+1:18.9) with one penalty in each stage.

“Skiing felt good, nothing special, but nothing really bad either,” Vaillancourt wrote in an email. “So I guess overall I have to say it was average!”

The trials continue Friday with another set of sprints. One men’s spot on the Olympic team remains up for grabs.

“Percentages will be calculated on time back from the top three performers on each day and both days will be averaged out,” national-team coach Roddy Ward explained on his blog. “The top average percentage over the two days will be heading to the Olympics.”

Already prequalified: World Cup skiers Rosanna Crawford, Zina Kocher, Megan Imrie, Megan Heinicke, Scott Perras, Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, and Nathan Smith.

“The upcoming trial races will also select a B squad who will head over to Europe to participate in World Cup #4, IBU Cup #5-6-7 and Open European Championships,” Ward wrote. “There are a good number of spots open for selection and now it’s time for the best to perform and show us they deserve their spots on the start line in Europe and most importantly, at the Olympics.”