(ISN) – HOCHFILZEN, Aut.—A new biathlon race, and it was another career-best result for Canada’s Rosanna Crawford on the World Cup.
The two-time Olympian finished just shy of the podium in fifth spot in the women’s 10-kilometre pursuit race in Hochfilzen, Austria on Sunday. Crawford missed just one shot in her first of four rounds of shooting to clock a time of 31 minutes, 38.2 seconds (31:38.2).
“Today was a great day. Good, quick shooting really helped me today,” said Crawford, whose previous best was an eighth place finish. She also has an historic finished fourth place finish with her teammates in a World Cup relay last year.
Starting time behind the leader based on Friday’s sprint race where the 26-year-old Canmore, Alta. resident finished well back of the leaders in 34th, Crawford had huge ground to make up on the field. Feeding off the confidence gained from a strong day of shooting and good skiing in Saturday’s relay, the hard-nosed Canuck was determined to make a statement in the pursuit, and she delivered!
“It was too bad that Friday’s skiing wasn’t that good, because I had a lot of work to do today. I felt much better than in the sprint, but hitting 10 for 10 yesterday in the relay really gave me confidence going into today’s race,” said Crawford. “My skis were great today. Our wax techs did a really good job and I can’t thank them and the coaches enough.”
Crawford finished just seven seconds off the podium. Finland’as Kaisa Makarainen clocked a golden time of 30:44.8 (0+0+1+0). Russia’s Ekaterina Glazyrina was second at 31:19.2 (1+0+0+0), while Anais Bescond, of France, rounded out the final spot on the podium with a time of 31:31.3 (0+0+1+0).
Crawford has been a model of athlete development over the last three years – consistently mixing it up with the best in the sport, pushing into the top-20, top-15 and now the top-10.
“This summer was a really good period of training, and I felt like I made some big gains,” said Crawford, whose sister Chandra won Olympic gold in cross-country skiing in 2006. “I knew after last weekend that a podium is definitely a possibility. I’ve been building off each race and gaining more confidence each week.”
Calgary’s Nathan Smith was the lone Canadian in the men’s 12.5-kilometre pursuit and finished 49th at 38:13.3 (0+1+1+0).
Martin Fourcade, of France, shot clean to win the men’s race with a time of 32:53.7. Germany’s Simon Schempp was also clean on the range to win the silver with a time of 32:57.8. Slovenia’s Jakov Fak was also perfect in shooting to post a bronze-medal time of 33:04.6.