(ISN) – RUHPOLDING, Ger.—Brendan Green and Megan Heinicke capped off a strong week of World Cup racing by mixing it up with the top-30 biathletes in the world in the mass start races on Sunday in Ruhpolding, Germany.
Green, of Hay River, N.W.T., continued his hot hand on the range, shooting clean for the third-straight race to finish the men’s 15-kilometre mass start race with a time of 36:39.9. Heinicke, of Prince George, B.C., finished 23rd in her first-ever women’s 12.5 kilometre World Cup mass start race with a time of 37:05.5 (1+0+0+1).
“This is the first time I’ve had been clean shooting throughout an entire World Cup. Each shot this week has felt solid, which is a really good feeling for sure. To finish the week 40/40 is an awesome bonus,” said Green. “No matter what, you need some luck to be able to do that, but I feel like this week I’ve been able to put into action a few elements that I was working hard on throughout my training over the Christmas break.”
Like the individual competition, the mass starts put a premium on shooting with athletes being charged one-minute penalties for every missed target. It was the 28-year-old Green’s third straight clean shooting day of the year, and first time ever in his seven-year career that he has left a World Cup with no targets standing.
“The shooting conditions were great which made it an extremely tight race. To be in the mix today you really couldn’t afford more than one miss,” said Green, who added course conditions were more pleasant today, but yesterday’s snow made it challenging and inconsistent to ski on. “I did my best to ski smooth and relaxed. Mass start races are more intense and exciting to race, but in general, my focus was similar to any other race.”
Each of the podium athletes were also clean in shooting while skiing to a photo finish – all finishing with a time of 35:42.8. Germany’s Simon Schempp won the gold by a hair at 35:42.8. Quentin Fillon Mallet, of France, skied to the silver, while Michal Slesingr, of France, settled for the bronze.
Canada’s Megan Heinicke hit the start line for what went down as also one of the tightest women’s mass start races in recent memory with the top-20 finishing within one minute of each other.
Missing one shot in her opening prone round of shots, the 26-year-old Heinicke remained focused and sharp throughout the 12.5-kilometre race. The two-time Olympian missed one more shot in her final standing while going onto a 23rd place finish at 37:05.7.
Darya Domracheva, of Belarus, won the women’s race with a time of 35:17.5 (1+0+2+0). Germany’s Franziska Preuss was second at 35:34.0 (0+1+1+0), while Veronika Vitkova, of the Czech Republic, grabbed the bronze medal with a time of 35:40.0 (1+1+1+0).