(ISN) – ANTHOLZ, Ita.—To say Canada’s Brendan Green is on a hot streak is an understatement.
With his parents cheering in the stands while fighting jet lag after a marathon journey from Canada to watch their son race, the 28-year-old had the performance of his life where he chalked up a career-best fifth-place finish in Antholz, Italy.
“It feels good. To be just four seconds off the podium is pretty sweet. I’m sure I’ll think about those four seconds eventually, but for now I’m especially happy with the race I executed, and the end result,” said Green. “My parents arrived last night after travelling three days from Northern Canada, and it is just great to have them in the stands to see this race. They’ve dedicated so much time and energy toward my career. It was really special to be able to share this result with them, and I think that is what I will remember most from today – seeing my parents smiling and waving a flag from the grand stand during the prize ceremony.”
Green extended his unprecedented perfect shooting streak to five races on Thursday, helping to clock a time of 23 minutes, 43.2 seconds in the 10-kilometre sprint competition.
“It is so hard to say (why I’ve been shooting so well). You definitely need luck on your side to shoot like that,” laughed Green. “I was working on a few things on the range over Christmas in Canmore. I don’t know if that is what made the difference or not, but I’ll take as many clean races as I can get and so far it has been great.”
Boasting a handful of top-10 results in his career, including his previous best – eighth – in a sprint race one year ago on the same track in Antholz, Green was perfect in shooting in all three races last week in Ruhpolding, Germany, marking the first time in his career he has shot clean in a World Cup stop.
“I’ve always loved racing here in Antholz and it is definitely my favourite stop on tour. It’s hard to say exactly why I’ve been able to find success here. It’s a fun venue to race, the atmosphere and fans are awesome, the weather is almost always perfect, and the course is one that maybe plays a little more into my strengths,” said Green. ” I know this is usually a venue where I can ski strong, so I knew that with solid shooting a good result would be possible, but I didn’t necessarily think it would be this good. The fact that I have had some of my better results here, like my sprint race last year, is definitely a motivator as well.”
Success breeds success and that definitely is the case with the two-time Olympian who has been feeding off the stellar results by the Canadian Biathlon Team this season, particularly the career year his girlfriend, Rosanna Crawford, has been enjoying. Crawford has been edging closer to her first ever podium herself with a fourth and fifth-place finish prior to the holiday break.
“It’s been really fun for Rosanna and I to be on tour together. She had an amazing start to the season and that was extremely motivating not only for me but for the team as well,” said Green. “Being able to support each other in our highs and lows throughout a season is pretty special and definitely unique. We’re raising the bar for each other but at the same time we are able to joke about it and have fun with it along the way!
“We have a strong team that has been having some good results over the last couple of years. Nathan Smith also had a couple of top-10’s before Christmas and that is motivating for sure,” added Green. “We are definitely going to build on that and keep it going.”
Germany’s Simon Schempp also shot clean to win the gold medal with a time of 23:18.8. Russia’s Evgeniy Garanichev was perfect in shooting en route to winning the silver medal at 23:32.8. Slovenia’s Jakov Fak missed one shot in his second round of shooting, but hung on for the bronze medal with a time of 23:38.9.
Three Calgary-based biathletes also suited up in the sprint discipline. Christian Gow shot clean to finish 52nd (25:22.7). Scott Gow placed 74th at 25:57.3 (2+1), while Nathan Smith was 78th at 26:02.1 (2+2).
The best women’s biathletes in the country will compete on Friday in a 7.5-kilometre sprint. Green will make another charge for the podium on Saturday in the men’s pursuit race where he’ll start in fifth spot based on today’s sprint results.
For Complete Results: www.biathlonworld.com
Top-Five and Canadian Results:
1. Simon Schempp, GER (0+0), 23:18.8; 2. Evgeniy Garanichev, RUS, (0+0), 23:32.8; 3. Jakov Fak, SLO, (0+1), 23:38.9; 4. Benjamin Weger, SUI, (1+0), 23:39.7; 5. Brendan Green, Hay River, N.W.T., CAN, (0+0), 23:43.2
Other Canadian Results:
52. Christian Gow, Calgary, (0+0), 25:22.7; 74. Scott Gow, Calgary, (2+1), 25:57.3; 78. Nathan Smith, Calgary, (2+2), 26:02.1.