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Biathlon Canada  – HOCHFILZEN, Aut.—Julia Ransom continued her breakthrough season on the elite biathlon circuit with a personal-best 18th-place finish in the individual competition on Wednesday at the World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria.

The 23-year-old Ransom slugged it out through the soft snow and warm conditions with near perfect shooting to post a time of 45:18.3 in the women’s 12.5-kilometre individual race.

“I’m really happy with the race today. After a disappointing sprint race this weekend, I decided to just get back to the basics,” said Ransom. I was finding that I was overwhelmed by the intricacies of shooting, and constantly hoping for clean races that I forgot to just take a breadth and aim for the middle.”

Ransom, of Kelowna, B.C., was on target Wednesday, missing just one target in her opening of four rounds of shooting. The individual race puts a premium on shooting, adding one minute penalties to the athlete’s total time for each missed shot.

“I raced not caring about where I ended up today, but instead, trying to do the very best I could on every section of the course, and every shooting bout,” added Ransom, who has had a handful of top-20’s this year in a variety of race disciplines. “It was a bit of a relief. I truly had nothing to lose so I thought I might as well race without hesitation.”

A bluebird day required near perfection on the shooting range for athletes to be at the top of the standings.

Germany’s Laura Dahlmeir matched Ransom’s performance in the range en route to winning the gold medal with a time of 41:30.1. Gabriela Koukalova, of Czech Republic, also missed one in her first round of prone shots, winning the silver medal at 41:54.8. Italy’s Alexia Runggaldier shot clean to claim the bronze with a time of 43:15.7.

Three other Canadian women also hit the start line on Wednesday. Megan Tandy, of Prince George, B.C., placed 43rd at 46:44.1 (0+0+1+1); Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., was 62nd (3+0+0+0) at 48:31.6; and Emma Lunder, also of Canmore, Alta., finished 64th at 48:48.0 (2+1+1+0).

The Biathlon World Championships continue on Thursday with the men’s individual event.

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Chris Dornan

Media and Public Relations

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