Christian Gow of Canada ended the biathlon world championships Sunday with an 11th-place result in the men’s 15-kilometre mass start race Sunday in Pokljuka, Slovenia – the best solo finish of the season for the 27-year-old from Canmore, Alta.
Gow was the only Canadian to qualify for the race, with most of the 30 positions reserved for the World Cup points leaders. Gow earned his start position after finishing 17th in the sprint and 30th in the pursuit in the opening week of the two-week championship event.
Sturla Holm Laegreid of Norway set the pace for the men, winning in 36:27.2, stopping the clock 1:02.1 ahead of Gow. Laegreid and Gow each shot 19-for-20. Johannes Dale of Norway was 10.2 seconds behind Laegreid, while Quentin Fillon Maillet of France took bronze (+12.8).
On Saturday, Gow teamed up with his older brother Scott , Adam Runnalls of Calgary and Trevor Kiers of Sprucedale, Ont., to post a 12th-place result in the men’s relay. Norway(Legreid, Tarjei Boe, Joahnnes Thingnes Boe, Vetle Sjaastad Christensen) won gold. Germany captured silver and Russian Biathlon Union took bronze.
Emma Lunder of Vernon also qualified for the women’s 12.5 km mass start race Sunday and finished 22nd. Lunder missed three of 20 targets and ended up 2:20.6 behind race winner Lisa Theresa Hauser of Austria, who shot 20-for-20 and timed in at 36:05.7. Silver went to Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold of Norway (+21.7) and Tiril Eckhoff of Norway (+23.0) won bronze.
Lunder was part of the Canadian women’s relay team (with Sarah Beaudry of Prince George, Nadia Moser of Whitehorse, Yukon and Megan Bankes of Calgary) that finished 16th out of 23 in the 4 X 6 km event on Saturday. The Canadian team had one penalty loop and 14 reloads and finished 5:48.3 behind gold medalists from Norway.
Lunder was the top Canadian in Tuesday’s 15 km individual event, placing 22nd, while Beaudry was 51st.
The IBU BMW World Cup moves on to Nove Mesto, Czech Republic for two weeks of racing, beginning Thursday, March 4 with the women’s relay.