February 8, 2013, NOVE MESTO, Cze.—Canada’s top biathletes joined forces to finish 15th in a mixed relay competition that officially kicked off the 2013 Biathlon World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic on Thursday.
Two-time Olympic veteran, 27-year-old Jean-Philippe Le Guellec of Shannon, Que., teamed up with two 24-year-old Olympians Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., and Megan Heinicke, of Prince George, B.C., along with Regina’s Scott Perras to post a time of one hour, 15 minutes, 9.6 seconds (1:15:09.6).
“It was a decent start but nothing extraordinary today,” said Le Guellec, who became the first Canadian male this year to win a World Cup medal in biathlon. “Personally the race went well. I was able to stay composed and relaxed in skiing, and used two spares in standing. It was a great opportunity to shape things up for the sprint.”
The mixed relay consists of two women and two men. The women ski six kilometres with two bouts of shooting, while the men ski 7.5 kilometres with two stops at the range. The first skier on each team begins in a simultaneous mass start with other participants. They complete their leg before handing off to the next teammate. Competitors in the relay each carry three spare rounds. If all five targets are not knocked down with the first five rounds, the spares may be used, which takes more time because they are loaded by hand.
It was the first mixed relay at World Championships for the 29-year-old Scott Perras.
“This was a full out field and was great to be a part of it,” said Perras, who cracked the top-10 this year on the World Cup. “Our start today shows we are in the ball park and with some solid focus we can’t get the results where we want them. The conditions were really tough today so you had to make sure you stayed sharp on your skis.”
Norway finished on top of the podium with a time of 1:12:04.9, while France celebrated the silver medal after clocking-in at 1:12:24.9. The Czech Republic thrilled the hometown crowd with a third-place finish after stopping the clock at 1:12:37.2.
The Biathlon World Championships continue on Satruday in Nove Mesto with the men’s and women’s sprint competitions.
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, Roeckl 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.
FOR COMPLETE RESULTS: www.biathlonworld.com
Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Norway, 1:12:04.9; 2. France, 1:12:24.9; 3. Czech Republic, 1:12:37.2; 4. Italy, 1:13:03.3; 5. Slovenia, 1:13:12.0
15. Canada: Rosanna Crawford, Canmore, Alta../Scott Perras, Regina/Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, Shannon, Que./ Megan Heinicke, Prince George, B.C., 1:15:09.6