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Biathlon Canada – OESTERSUND, Swe.— Hungry to repeat their medal-winning performance from one year ago in the single mixed relay, Canada’s Rosanna Crawford and Nathan Smith battled through tricky conditions and early season rust to finish seventh in Oestersund, Sweden on Sunday.

Crawford (Canmore, Alta.) and Calgary’s Smith, who claimed the silver in the same season-opening event last year, finished one minute, 44.7 seconds off the winning pace of 35 minutes 43.5 seconds set by France under the lights in the evening race.

“Overall things went well today. We had pretty high hopes, but knew that would be tough to match,” said Smith. “Physically I wasn’t where I wanted to be and the conditions were very icy making it more challenging.”

Austria finished 16 seconds off the pace in second place, while the German’s were 25.2 seconds behind in the bronze medal position.

“I was looking forward to today’s race and getting the cobwebs out,” added the 28-year-old Crawford. “Racing this late at night is always a bit tricky. We had a little bit of jet leg and I was feeling a bit sluggish going into today’s race. I learned a few things that I need to work on the shooting range and felt good to be moving fast again with the bib on.”

Designed to be more spectator friendly, the action-packed single mixed format is a shorter version of the mixed team event, sending athletes out on shorter loops and shooting prone-prone-standing-standing. The women start with prone before handing off to the men for their round of prone. Athletes tag off between each round of shooting.

When all is said and done, the women ski a total of six kilometres, while the men complete 7.5-kilometres on the course. The penalty loop is 75 metres.

The new race format was official introduced on the World Cup last season. Arriving on the other side of the pond four days ago, the Canadian duo used the race as a good tune-up for the individual races that start this Wednesday and Thursday.

“My legs feel pretty good at the start, but then they just got a bit heavier each loop. A bit like concrete legs,” said Crawford. “I am happy to have two more days to get over jet leg bit before we have our longer 15 kilometre individual start race.”

Biathlon Canada is the governing body for biathlon in the country, and oversees the IBU Cup, World Cup, Canadian Championships, Eastern and Western Canadian Championships, and North American Cups held in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Mackenzie Investments, Roeckl Sports, Lapua, Nordic Marksman Inc, biathlontravel.de, and Zizu Eyewear – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Biathlon Canada’s mandate is to provide national level programs for the continuous development of biathlon athletes from the grassroots to the elite level. For more information on Biathlon Canada, please visit us at www.biathloncanada.ca on the Internet.

Complete Results: http://biathlonresults.com

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Chris Dornan

Media and Public Relations

T: 403-620-8731

E-mail: hpprchris@shaw.ca