November 25, 2012, IDRE, Swe. (ISN) — Scott Gow made a statement on Saturday that he belongs with the world’s best biathletes after narrowly missing the podium in fifth spot at an IBU Cup in Idre, Sweden.
The 22-year-old Calgarian, who is competing in just his second season on Canada’s senior biathlon squad, shot nine out of 10 in his two trips to the range to post a time of 25:46.9 in the men’s 10-kilometre sprint competition.
“The biggest factor today was the shooting,” said an excited Gow, who had fourth-place finish on the IBU Cup last year in Obertilliach, Austria. “It is the first event but jet leg has not been a big problem and the skis felt great today.”
Gow finished just over 40 seconds behind winner Julian Eberhard, of Austria, who punched the clock at25:07.3. Austria’s Tobias Eberhard was second at 25:31.2, while Russia’s Victor Vasilyev shot clean to claim the bronze medal with a time of 25:37.5.
Gow, who experienced a whole new world last year while splitting time on the World Cup and the IBU Cup circuit – a feeder series to the World Cup, feels one year experience has been huge for his confidence.
“Last year was a huge learning curve for me and I didn’t feel like I could be (with the best),” said Gow. “It is a big jump to go from junior to senior because it is an unlimited age group. The guys are stronger, older and more fit so you kind of feel like you are just playing catch up. Having raced a year of senior, I am a little more comfortable now and accustomed to the game.”
Marc-Andre Bédard, Valcartier, Que., missed two shots to finish in 20th at 26:31.8, while Calgary’s Kurtis Wenzel was 45th (27:16.7) in the men’s event.
Another Canadian ready to prove she belongs with the world’s elite is Rosanna Crawford. Bouncing between the two senior biathlon circuits herself over the last three years, the 24-year-old Olympian from Canmore, Alta. got her season off to a solid start finishing 10th at 23:23.5.
“Today went well on the range, but I had a tough time out on the course,” said Crawford, who shot clean. “I think a combination of nerves, excitement and making sure you have everything ready for a race took a bit too much of the energy that I needed to ski faster.”
Crawford took advantage of the Swedish track which played to her strength, and did recover after a tumble on one of the technical downhills on her second loop.
“My skis were amazing and I was flying on those downhills,” said Crawford. “I have made some big gains this summer and I was really motivated this summer to prove I deserved to be on the World Cup and make the World Championship team. I feel like that work I did has paid off today. It is only going to get better from here.”
Norway’s Hilde Fenne won the women’s 7.5-kilometre sprint with a time of 22:36.1. Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak, of Poland, was second at 22:38.2, while Norway’s Thekla Brun-Lie shot clean to win the bronze with a time of 22:46.2.
Four other Canadian women also suited up. Megan Heinicke, of Prince George, B.C. was 26th (24:13.4); Quebec’s Audrey Vaillancourt finished 34th (24:46.2); Melanie Schultz, of Camrose, Alta., was 50th (25:13.9); while Yolaine Oddou, Val Belair, Que., placed 69th (25:49.5).
FOR COMPLETE RESULTS: www.biathlonworld.com
Top-Five Men IBU Cup and Canadian Results:
- Julian Eberhard, AUT, (1+0), 25:07.3
- Tobias Eberhard, AUT (0+1), 25:31.2;
- Victor Vasilyev, RUS, (0+0), 25:37.5
- Christian Martinelli, ITA, (0+0), 25:42.1
- Scott Gow, Calgary, (0+1), 25:46.9.
20. Marc-Andre Bédard, Valcartier, Que., (1+1), 26:31.9; 45. Kurtis Wenzel, Calgary, (1+0), 27:16.7.
Top-Five Women IBU Cup and Canadian Results:
- Hilde Fenne, NOR, (1+0), 22:36.1
- Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak, Pol (1+1), 22:38.2
- Thekla Brun-Lie, NOR, (0+0), 22:46.2
- Bente Landheim, NOR (22:54.0)
- Jitka Landova, CZE (1+0), 22:58.6
10. Rosanna Crawford, Canmore, Alta., (0+0), 23:23.5
26. Megan Heinicke, Prince George, B.C., (2+1), 24:13.4
34. Audrey Vaillancourt, Quebec, (1+1), 24:46.2
50. Melanie Schultz, Camrose, Alta., (0+1), 25:13.9
69. Yolaine Oddou, ValBelair, Que. (1+1), 25:49.5