Lunder finds top-20 mojo on Olympic trail
Thursday, Dec 21, 2017 06:00 am
Emma Lunder had the best world cup biathlon weekend of her career as she cracked the top-30 twice to lead Canadaís women in France, Saturday (Dec. 16).
Lunder had a career-best 19th-place finish and the weekend virtually assures her of an Olympic start, as the Starbucks barista turned biathlete bounced back from a difficult weekend in Austria.
ďIím supper happy to have qualified for my mass start, and itís a great way to end the first trimester. Iím definitely getting a bit tired from four weeks of racing, but Iím just letting the momentum of being in beautiful, snowy France get me to the finish line,Ē Lunder said.
Lunder, 26, started the weekend with a 34th-place finish in Fridayís sprint race. She responded in the pursuit with a personal best 18th, and followed that up by finishing 27th in the mass start.
ďI was super happy with my (pursuit) race. Missing the last shot (again) was painful, but my skiing was really solid and I will never complain about hitting 19/19,Ē Lunder said.
The underdog Canadian team has quietly amassed a string of strong results which bodes well for the program. Lunder is an integral part of the womenís relay team, and the top-20 result is a sign she is realizing her potential.
Julia Ransom also rebounded from a tough weekend in Hochfiltzen. She was 39th in the sprint, 27th in the pursuit and the first spare in the mass start. The sharpshooter didnít try to find meaning in her yo-yo results, but managed to wax poetic about them.
ďBiathlon can be an enigma sometimes. I donít know what the difference was from last weekend. Maybe Hochfilzen was a good lesson in staying humble. Sometimes you just donít get your way and thatís just how it goes,Ē Ransom said.
Rosanna Crawford came down with a cold, which snubbed out her chance at a strong result, while Megan Bankes finished 65th in the sprint.
The team will take a break over the holidays, with several members staying in Europe for an extra camp. The world cup season will resume on Jan. 2 in Germany.