by Chris Dornan
January 19, 2014, ANTHOLZ-ANTERSELVA, Ita. (ISN) – The Canadian Men’s Biathlon Team will head into the 2014 Olympic Winter Games having posted their best World Cup relay result ever after finishing sixth on Sunday in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy.
The four Canucks including – Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, of Shannon, Que., Regina’s Scott Perras, Calgary’s Nathan Smith, and Brendan Green, of Hay River, N.W.T. – battled through chaos and intense fog to hang on with the world’s best in a 4×7.5 kilometre relay race to mark the final World Cup start for the Canadians prior to Sochi. The Canadians clocked a combined time of 1:17:15.5.
“That was about as chaotic as any race that I have ever done,” said Scott Perras. “The zero was delayed because of fog and we had to start the race by 3 p.m. or we’d run out of daylight. Then the rain moved in and then heavy snow. The conditions were all over the place and we had to make a last minute decision on the skis and went with it. It was not an easy day for the wax techs.”
France was the eventual winner with a time of 1:14:34.1. Sweden placed second at 1:14:36.7, while Germany rounded out the men’s podium in third with a time of 1:15:12.9.
The previous best for a Canadian men’s team was seventh in 2009. This year they have a ninth and an eighth-place finish.
“I think the biggest thing we all take away from today is that we prevailed despite all the chaos,” added Perras. “We put a little more high-pressure experience in the bank which will help us later on.”
The women’s race was eventually cancelled. The Canadian Biahtlon Team will now participate in their final training camp to prepare for the Sochi Olympics.
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 Sports, Lapua, USANA, Nordic Marksman Inc, 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.
TOP-FIVE AND CANADIAN MEN’S RESULTS
1. France, 1:14:34.1; 2. Sweden, 1:14:36.7; 3. Germany, 1:15:12.9; 4. Norway, 1:16:08.7; 5. Austria, 1:17:07.5
6. Canada, 1:17:15.5