Nathan Smith Puts Nation on His Shoulders Skiing to 16th Place Finish at Biathlon World Cup in Canmore
Biathlon Canada – CANMORE, Alta.—Nathan Smith battled through brutal race conditions and heavy legs to finish a solid 16th in the men’s 15-kilometre mass start event in front of a boisterous hometown crowd lining the trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre for the BMW World Cup of Biathlon on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Smith lined up alongside the top-30 biathletes in the world for the spectator friendly mass start race as heavy winds and snow roared through the 1988 Olympic venue wreaking havoc for athletes while skiing the 3.3-kilometre loop, and in the range. Smith took advantage of strong shooting to clock a time of 41:49.2.
“It was tough conditions. Obviously windy, but I hit 17 (targets) so that was pretty good for today and I’m happy with that.” said Smith, who missed just one target in his opening prone set of shots, and one more in each of his two standing bouts.
“We are all shooting at the same time in a mass start so if it is windy, it is windy for everyone. There was a reasonable amount of wind in standing, but not so windy you couldn’t hold the rifle and focus on the target.”
Smith complained of heavy legs during Thursday’s sprint race. With the mass start being a race of attrition, the Calgarian was hoping his above average shooting would help keep him in the hunt with the leaders. He stayed comfortably in the top-15 until the final lap where he ran out of gas and dropped into 16th.
“On the first lap I thought this could be good,” added Smith. “I’m still feeling kind of tired on the skis so I was making up some time on the range thankfully so I could maintain my placing in the middle of the pack. I did feel a little better than the sprint.”
Dominik Windisch skied to the top of the podium despite missing four shots. The Italian punched the clock at 40:37.1. Germany’s Benedikt Doll also missed four targets, finishing four seconds back at 40:41.2. Quentin Fillon Maillet, of France, rounded out the men’s podium with a time of 40:45.7.
The first Biathlon World Cup since hosting the 1988 Olympic Winter Games at the Canmore Nordic Centre wraps up on Sunday with the single mixed relay and mixed relay events.
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, iON Worldwide, Kama, Roeckl Sports, Lapua, USANA, and ZiZU Optics – 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.
Top-Five Men and Canadian Results:
1. Dominik Windisch, ITA, 1+0+2+1, 40:37.1; 2. Benedikt Doll, GER, 2+1+0+1, 40:41.2; 3. Quentin Fillon Maillet, FRA, 1+0+1+1, 40:45.7; 4. Dominik Landertinger, AUT, 1+1+0+1, 40:57.8; 5. Andrejs Rastorgujevs, LAT, 1+0+1+1, 40:58.0
16. Nathan Smith, Calgary, 1+0+1+1, 41:49.2
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