March 07, 2010 (Canmore, A
The men raced in the morning, again on a rock hard course. Individual race winner, Nathan Smith, took a commanding lead early on, and turned it into a commanding win, missing only two shots in four trips through the range to finish 24.4 seconds ahead of Brendan Green who missed four shots with a finish time of 1:17.4. Third place went to Scott Perras, who missed seven shots and was forced to rely on his fast ski times to make the podium.
The real thriller of the day was 19-yr-old Scott Gow, who was gunning for a podium spot until he missed his final three shots and settled for 4th place as he did in the men’s sprint. Gow was racing up a category and looking for a strong showing in an attempt to qualify for the upcoming World Cups. Patrick Cote rounded out the top five shooting clean, but skied 1:48 off the lead. Robin Clegg, who gave strong indications that he will likely retire after the championships, did not start.
Rumours are circulating regarding Biathlon Canada’s selections for the upcoming World Cups. Neither Smith nor Gow were strong contenders prior to these races, but their performances this week, have upped their chances. Jean Phillipe Le Guellec is pre-qualified, as was Clegg, who has since declined given his plans for retirement. Other likely choices include Green and Perras. A final decision is expected in the next few days.
In the women’s field Megan Tandy repeated her strong performance in Wednesday’s sprint event, taking the win with some exceptional shooting (missing only two targets) despite a mix-up on the range. Melanie Schultz also missed only two shots to finish 2nd. Sarah Murphy was thankful for fast ski times, as she struggled on the range, missing six targets, but it would prove just enough for her to finish 3rd. Claude Godbout finished 4th with six misses and Cindy Clark finished 5th with three misses.
Zina Kocher, Megan Imrie and Rosanna Crawford (who has been absent from the entire week of racing due to illness) all opted not to start, as they are focusing on their own preparations for the upcoming World Cups.
There was some confusion in the range at one point over whether the women were supposed to be shooting prone or standing. The range officials had half of the range set up for each, to accommodate the different categories that were racing simultaneously. The brief mix-up was the only snag in an otherwise smooth-running week of competition.
The weather gods continue to smile on Canmore with a similar forecast for Sunday featuring the relays on the final day of competition for 2010 Biathlon Nationals.
Full results from the week of competiton are available here.