PBs shower down on Canadian biathletes

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Those with nut allergies beware: Canadian biathletes spread PBs across the team and now they’re confident they have the jam to start chasing world cup podiums.

Four Canadian biathletes recorded personal best (PBs) results at the top stage, as top racers competed in Oestersund, Sweden.

Superstar in the making Julia Ransom marshaled the personal best parade with a ninth-place finish Wednesday (Nov. 29) in the 15-kilometre individual race. She shot clean, recorded some of the fastest ski times of her career and strung together a few choice ski clichés into her after race quotes.

“It was a very fun race, getting those top-three splits. Impressive shooting from the entire field made it tough to keep in the flowers, but I am feeling confident going into the season nonetheless,” Ransom said.

Megan ‘Money’ Bankes was the next Canadian biathlete to notch a PB. The 20-year-old snuck into the top 60 for the first time in her career in the women’s 7.5 km sprint. She shot 9/10, and was 2:10 back of the leader, Denise Herrmann of Germany (19:54).

Ransom was the top Canadian in that race, as she finished 29th, again shooting clean and finishing 1:16 off the pace.

Rosanna Crawford was 46th, missing one target in the process. Crawford’s ski speed was a great sign for the coaching staff as she works her way back up the world cup rankings.

Emma Lunder needed a frappucino after a tough day in the range. The Starbucks-sponsored athlete missed three targets to finish 93rd.

Scott ‘Thor’ Gow was the next Canadian in the PB parade, shooting clean to land in 16th in the 10 km sprint. Gow was 41 seconds off the pace, but well ahead of his previous record.

Gow is a numbers nerd, so he knows his record for early season races isn’t great. This result is a watershed moment for the God of Thunder, who cleaned up his wild shooting and broke through the top 20 like a lightning bolt.

“It felt great to have such a great race at the first world cup of the season. Normally, I’m slow to start, but this year I’ve been able to break that cycle and it felt great to achieve a personal best in the process,” Gow said.

“My shooting has been a little off the past couple of weeks, but I came into the race extra focused and really tried to emphasize the shooting, which paid off well today.”

Not to be outdone, younger brother Christian ‘Don’t call me Loki’ Gow slid into 26th in the sprint for the best result of his career. Christian was one of several Canadians who flew to Europe early in order to shake off jetlag cobwebs. The Gears of War enthusiast shot clean, and finished only 17 seconds slower than his brother.

Christian also managed to sneak athlete clichés into his quotes.

“This is the best I’ve felt here and I 100 per cent attribute that to being more prepared and over jet lag. Cobwebs feel like they are gone today,” Christian Gow said.

Nathan Smith, who teammates call ‘Potter’ despite his lack of scars and wire rimmed glasses, did find some magic to return to the top 30 for the first time in a year. He finished 24th, 54 seconds off the pace. Brendan Green missed two and finished 55th, ensuring the entire men’s team qualified for pursuit races – which only include the top 60 athletes.

It was Ransom’s turn again in the pursuit race to lead the nation and improve her world ranking to 15th overall. Fleet footed on course, and lead footed on the road, Ransom finished 23rd on the day. Crawford struggled in the range, missing six targets to finish 52nd, while Bankes missed five targets and was lapped out.

Christian Gow was the top Canadian in the pursuit, recording yet another PB: a 21st spot. Smith missed three targets to finish 42nd, while Scott Gow and Brendan Green both struggled in the range, finishing 50th and 51st respectively.

Canadians now move to Hochfilzen, Austria to chase more top results. For full results, and fewer puns, visit www.biathlonresults.com.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook