CANMORE, Alta.—Canadian biathletes thrilled the hometown fans with a gold and bronze medal at the IBU Cup in Canmore, Alta. on Sunday.
Calgary’s Nathan Smith became the first Canadian to win back-to-back on the feeder series to the World Cup circuit, capturing his second gold in as many days with a time of 25:33.4 in the men’s 10-kilometre sprint competition. Quebec’s Yolaine Oddou kicked off a medal-winning party at the Canmore Nordic Centre by finishing third in the women’s 7.5-kilometre sprint competition.
Smith shot clean in his two trips to the range to win the second IBU Cup race of his career and his third medal of the season.
“My body felt about the same as yesterday, but the difference was I was able to hit that last shot today,” said Smith. “I’m definitely happy. I’ve been more consistent skiing this year and it is nice (to have these results) leading into World Championships.”
Austria’s Friedrich Pinter finished second at 26:14.8, while Germany’s Benedikt Doll claimed the bronze with a time of 26:16.3.
In the women’s competition, Yolaine Oddou overcame one miss on the range to capture her first medal of the season. Oddou won the bronze with a time of 21:56.7.
“I’m really excited with my result. I focused more on the my shooting today. I’m really happy with it,” said Oddou. “The course was good and it was nice to have all the Canadians cheering us on.”
Russia’s Marina Korovina missed one shot en route to winning the women’s gold with a time of 21:40.3. Germany’s Maren Hammerschmidt clocked a silver-medal time of 21:55.4
OtherCanadian performances included: Marc-Andre Bedard, of Valcartier, Que., in seventh (26:43.6); Ottawa’s Robin Clegg finished 18th with a time of 27:35.6; 23. Tyson Smith, of Calgary, was 23rd (28:02.2); Scott Gow, of Calgary, was 30th (28:30.2); Matthew Neumann, of Prince George, B.C., was 32nd (28:39.1); David Gregoire, of Chartierville, Que., was 36th (29:03.0); while Calgary’s Beau Thompson was 43rd (29:53.3); and Patrick Cote, of Grand Sault, N.B., finished 46th (30:04.9).
Other Canadian women’s results include: Megan Heinicke, of Squamish, B.C., fourth at 22:15.4; Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., in ninth (22:41.2); Melanie Schultz, of Camrose, Alta., in 13th (22:49.2); Alberta’s Karen Messenger in 31st (24:50.6) and Cindy Clark in 34th (27:00.1); Carly Shiell, of Camrose, Alta., in 35th (27:26.8); and Kathryn Stone, of Grand Prairie, Alta., was 37th (27:45.9).
Over in Europe, Canada’s Zina Kocher powered into the top-10 for the first time in two years with a ninth-place result. Starting time-behind-the-leader based on Saturday’s sprint event where the two-time Olympian finished 12th, Kocher clocked a time of 35:23.5 in the 10-kilometre pursuit event.
“Finally is how things feel,” said Kocher, who won a World Cup medal in 2006. “It has taken some patience this season as I have been close to breaking through in the top-10, and the opportunity has been there for me numerous times this year.”
Missing four shots in as many rounds of shooting, the 29-year-old Kocher was content with her shooting considering the challenging wind conditions in Kontiolahti, Finland.
Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen won the competition with a time of 32:23.0. Germany’ s Magdalena Neuner grabbed the silver at 32:58.9, while Darya Domracheva, of Belarus, held on for the bronze medal with a time of 33:00.0.
Biathlon Canada is the governing body for biathlon in the country and oversees the Canadian Championships, Eastern and Western Canadian Championships, and North American Cups held inCanada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Millennium Geomatics Ltd., Apogée Sports, Kama, Auclair Gloves, Lapua, USANA, and Adidas Eyewear – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own thePodium, Biathlon Canada’s mandate is to provide national level programs for the continuous development of biathlon athletes from the grassroots to the elite level. For more information on Biathlon Canada, please visit us at www.biathloncanada.ca on the Internet.
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