CANMORE, Alta. (ISN) —Nathan Smith became the first Canadian biathlete to ever win three straight IBU Cup races after skiing to the top step of the podium once again on Thursday at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
The 26-year-old Calgarian, who won the first two sprint competitions at the Canmore stop on the IBU Cup circuit last, took advantage of home snow advantage one more time to clock a winning time of 26:13.1 in the men’s 10-kilometre sprint event.
“It feels really good. Today was tougher skiing, but I managed to get it done,” said Smith following a tight race to the finish. “I knew it was close and I finished as strong as I could.”
Smith was equally strong in his two trips to the range, missing just one shot in prone position on abeautiful day with ideal conditions at the spectacular Canmore Nordic Centre.
“Anytime you shoot nine of 10 it is a great day,” said Smith. “I think knowing this course also helped me today. You really have to pace yourself on this course with the long climb. This gives me a lot of confidence heading into World Championships.”
Smith held off Austria’s Friedrich Pinter’s final charge to the finish. Pinter shot clean to finish in second spot at 26:17.1. Russia’s Sergey Klyachin was also perfect on the range, clocking a bronze-medal time of 26:20.2.
Other Canadian men’s results included: Marc-Andre Bedard, of Valcartier, Que., in fifth (1+0) (26:37.4); Ottawa’s Robin Clegg finished 16th with a time of 27:25.3 (1+1); Calgary’s Scott Gow was 17th at 27:25.6 (0+3); Regina’s Scott Perras finished 24th at 27:53.2 (3+1); Matthew Neumann, of Prince George, B.C., was 29th at 28:26.2 (0+2); Tyson Smith, ofCalgary, was 35th at (1+2) (28:02.2); Patrick Cote, of Grand Sault, N.B., finished 36th at 28:59.7 (0+2); and Calgary’s Beau Thompson was 45th with a time of 29:35.1 (2+1).
Meanwhile, Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta.,rebounded after a tough week in her hometown to finish as the top Canuck in the women’s 7.5-kilometre sprint competition.
The 23-year-old Olympian clocked a sixth-place time of 22:12.2.
“My goal was a top-six so I got it. It was much better today,” said Crawford, who shot clean in both stops at the range. “The conditions were fast today, and I am really tired so I’m happy with the result.”
Two other Canadian women joined Crawford in the top-10. Melanie Schultz, of Camrose, Alta., also shot clean to finish seventh at 22:20.0. Megan Heinicke, of Prince George, B.C.,missed two shots in standing position to clock a ninth-place time of 22:30.8.
Other Canadian women’s results include: Quebec’s Yolaine Oddou in 18th with a time of 23:01.1 (0+1); Quebec’s Claude Godbout missed two shots to place 21st (23:26.0); Megan Imrie, of Falcon Lake, Man. was 22nd with a time of 23:29.8 (1+2); Alberta’s Karen Messenger was 29th at 24:54.6 (0+1) and Cindy Clark placed 35th at 26:18.6 (0+2); while Kathryn Stone, ofGrand Prairie, Alta., finished 36th after missing six shots with a time of 27:01.4.
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 in Canada. 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 the Podium, 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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