—Rosanna Crawford leads three Canadians in women’s pursuit, placing 35th—
HOCHFILZEN, Aut.—Nathan Smith held his spot in 18th position in a biathlon World Cup pursuit race in Hochfilzen, Austria on Saturday.
Starting the 12.5 kilometre pursuit in 18th spot based on Friday’s sprint results, the 29-year-old leader of the Canadian squad missed two shots in his first and last of four rounds of shooting on the slick course that saw many of the world’s best go down. Smith clocked in at 33:08.3.
“The snow conditions are firm but really icy on all downhill corners. It was difficult staying on my feet. In the pursuit it is especially important to be vigilant while skiing in close groups of skiers,” said Smith.
Martin Fourcade, of France, won the men’s pursuit with a time of 31:19.9 (0+2+0+0). Friday’s sprint winner, Germany’s Simon Schempp, dropped one spot into the silver medal position with a time of 31:28.8 (0+0+1+0). Russia’s Anton Shipulin skied to the bronze medal step of the podium with a time of 31:39.0 (0+0+2+0).
Brendan Green, of Hay River, N.W.T. gained one position on the field to finish in 34th. Green clocked-in at 34:43.3 (2+0+2+0). Calgary’s Christian Gow had a solid day of shooting to bolt 20 spots up the standings with a time of 35:03.0. Gow missed just one shot in both prone rounds of shooting to finish 39th.
“I’m happy with my performance today,” said Gow. “That was solid shooting and some good skiing too.”
Christian’s older brother Scott placed 45th at 35:43.7 (2+3+1+0).
Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., climbed four spots as three Canadians hit the start line for the women’s 10-kilometre pursuit competition.
Crawford, 27, was perfect in her first round of prone shooting before missing one shot in final prone and two standing rounds of shots. The two-time Olympian finished 35th at 31:05.5.
Julia Ransom, of Kelowna, B.C., had a strong day climbing 11 spots in the standings to finish 43rd at 32:04.3. The World Cup rookie went 1+1+1+0 on the range. Megan Tandy, of Prince George, B.C., rebounded after missing three shots in her opening prone to place 48th at 33:01.0 (3+1+0+1).
The Germans grabbed the top-two spots on the women’s podium. Laura Dahlmeier missed just one shot in her final bout of shooting to win the race with a time of 28:23.3 (0+0+0+1). Maren Hammerschmidt shared the podium with her teammate after clocking-in at 38:36.6 (0+0+1+1). Gabriela Soukalova, of Czech Republic, also missed one shot in her final round of shooting en route to the bronze medal at 28:41.8.
The biathlon World Cup continues Sunday in Austria with the relay races.