(ISN) – KONTIOLAHTI, Fin—Canada’s surging biathlon squad capped off a historic World Championships by placing three athletes in the top-25 of the men’s and women’s mass start races on Sunday in Kontiolahti, Finland.
Brendan Green, of Hay River, N.W.T., continued to battle through his back injuries suffered during a crash weeks ago to finish 21st against the top-30 athletes at the World Championships. The 28-year-old missed one target in his final round of shooting to post a time of 37:33.2 in the 15-kilometre event.
Calgary’s Nathan Smith, who made history last week becoming the first Canadian male ever to win a medal at the biathlon World Championships, got off to a slow start with two penalties in his first shooting. After missing one more target in his third of four trips to the range, the 29 year old placed 23rd at 37:44.3.
“This was great work today by our men,” said Chris Lindsay, high-performance director. “Brendan was up in fifth place for part of the race before dropping back with his single miss. His shooting per centage for non-relay races for the year is more than 88 per cent. this is one of the very best in the world. Nathan was able to stay in the race with great ski speed despite his rough start.”
Megan Heinicke, of Prince George, B.C., was the lone Canadian to start the women’s 12.5-kilometre mass start. Henickie, 26, missed one in her first round of shooting en route to finishing 24th at 36:55.1.
“Megan had a great race with exceptional shooting,” added Lindsay. “This is a great way for her to finish off the season with multiple top-16 results; and personal bests for the World Championships. Meagan is a true role model for the younger athletes on the team, and was able to really show her potential.”
Slovenia’s Jakov Fak won the men’s race with a time of 36:24.9 (0+0+1+0). Ondrej Moravec, of the Czech Republic, was second at 36:25.9 (1+0+0+0). Norway’s Tarjei Boe rounded out the men’s podium in third place with a time of 36:28.6 (0+0+1+0).
Ukraine’s Valj Semerenko shot clean to win the women’s mass start with a time of 34:32.9. Germany’s Franziska Preuss celebrated the silver medal with a time of 34:39.1 (0+0+0+1), while Italy’s Karin Oberhofer hopped onto the bronze medal step of the podium with a time of 34:45.5 (1+1+0+0).
Green, Smith and Rosanna Crawford will now head to the final World Cup race of the season in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
Top-Five Men’s and Canadian Results:
1. Jakov Fak, SLO, (0+0+1+0), 36:24.9; 2. Ondrej Moravec, CZE, (1+0+0+0), 36:25.9; 3. Tarjei Boe, (0+0+1+0), 36:28.6; 4. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, (0+0+0+0), 36:35.1; 5. Michal Slesingr, CZE, (1+0+2+0), 36:43.3
21. Brendan Green, Hay River, N.W.T., (0+0+0+1), 37:33.2; 23. Nathan Smith, Calgary, (2+0+1+0), 37:44.3
Top-Five Women’s and Canadian Result:
1. Valj Semerenko, UKR, (0+0+0+0), 34:32.9; 2. Frankziska Preuss, GER, (0+0+0+1), 34:39.1; 3. Karin Oberhofer, ITA, (1+1+0+0), 34:45.5; 4. Darya Domracheva, BLR, (0+0+2+0), 34:47.6; 5. Gabriela Soukalova, CZE, (0+0+0+1), 34:59.1
24. Megan Heinicke, Prince George, B.C., (1+0+0+0), 36:55.1