February 18, 2013, Nove Mesto, Cze (ISN) – Four of Canada’s top biathletes teamed up to finish a season-best eighth in the men’s 4×7.5-kilometre relay at the World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
The strong Canadian contingent led by Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, of Shannon, Que., Calgarians Scott Gow and Nathan Smith, along with Regina’s Scott Perras joined forces to clock a time of 1:18:44.7.
“All the relays this year have been this group of guys and we have tried different roles and have tried different roles, and have struggled through a few, but today made up for all of them,” said the 29-year-old Scott Perras, who skied the anchor leg. “The guys did a great job, and I just had to close the deal. There was a lot of pressure on the last leg, but I though if my three teammates can throw down great races then so can I. It ended up being a great day for us.”
Norway won the men’s relay with a time of 1:15:39.0. France captured the silver medal at 1:16:51.8, while Germany grabbed the bronze medal after stopping the clock at 1:16:57.5.
It was a strong week for the young Canucks who posted personal best results at the World Championships, particularly in the individual competition where three athletes finished in the elite pack of 31.
The Canadian women’s relay team finished 12h in a 4×6-kilometre relay on Friday.
The Canadian women’s foursome which included – Zina Kocher of Red Deer, Alta., Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., Megan Heinicke, of Prince George, B.C., and Qubec’s Audrey Vaillancourt clocked-in at one hour, 11 minutes, 26.2 seconds (1:11:26.2)
“We are content with our finish, but once again we had too many spares and a penalty loop,” said Crawford. “All of the girls were skiing well, but we really need to pull ourselves together on the range. Our goal was top-10, but all we can do is keep working on it and try again at the next relay in Sochi.”
The Norwegians won the relay title with a time of 1:08:11.0. The team from the Ukraine skied to second place with a time of 1:08:18.0, while Italy locked up third place after stopping the clock at 1:08:22.6.
The relay consists of each athlete skiing six-kilometres in women’s (7.5 in men’s) with two bouts of shooting. The first starter of each team begins in a simultaneous mass start with other participants, and 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.
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.
Complete Results: www.biathlonworld.com
Top-Five Men and Canadians Results:
1.Norway; 2. France; 3. Germany; 4. Russia; 5. Austria
8. Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, Shannon, Que./Scott Gow, Calgary/Nathan Smith, Calgary/Scott Perras, Regina, 1:18:44.7
Top-Five Women and Canadian Results:
1. Norway, 1:08:11.0; 2. Ukraine, 1:08:18.0; 3. Italy, 1:08:22.6; 4. Russia, 1:08:40.0; 5. Germany, 1:08:41.9
12. Canada (Zina Kocher, Red Deer, Alta./Rosanna Crawford, Canmore, Alta./Megan Heinicke, Prince George, B.C./Audrey Vaillancourt, Quebec), 1:11:26.2