On a windy and foggy day in Oberhof, Germany, Burns Lake biathlete Emily Dickson started her first career World Cup biathlon race near the back of the pack.
She was 77th out of the gate in a field of 100 and finished 46th overall in Thursday’s BWM IBU World Cup 7.5-kilometre women’s sprint, an impressive debut for the 22-year-old, who hadn’t raced internationally since last March.
Dickson was slated to begin the year on the IBU Cup tour, the international ‘B’ circuit, but a spot became available for her on the Canadian World Cup team this week with Sarah Beaudry of Prince George and Nadia Moser of Whitehorse, Yukon attending an altitude camp in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy to help them prepare for the world championships next month.
Vernon’s Emma Lunder was already finished her race by the time Dickson was getting started. Lunder shot clean in both rounds and finished a career-best seventh.
The 28-year-old Lunder, in her second season on the World Cup tour, started ninth and finished 74.9 seconds behind gold-medalist Marte Olsbu Roeisland of Norway, who hit all 10 targets in two shooting rounds and stopped the clock in 22:04.9. Denise Hermann of Germany won silver (0+1, 33.1) and bronze went to Julia Simon of France (1+0, 47.4).
Lunder’s seventh-place result qualifies her for Sunday’s 30-skier 12.5 km mass start race.
Dickson missed just one standing target and ended up 2:58.6 behind the winning pace.
A month ago in Hochfilzen, Austria, Lunder teamed up with Beaudry, Moser and Megan Bankes of Calgary to finish fifth in the World Cup women’s relay, a best-ever result for Canadian women.
Beaudry and Moser are expected to be in Oberhof for Saturday’s 4 X 6km relay.
The men’s 10 km sprint on Friday includes four Canadians. Scott Gow of Canmore will start 21st in a field of 111, followed by Carsen Campbell of Bedque, P.E.I. (60th), Christian Gow of Canmore (77th) and Matthew Sturm of Canmore (91st).
The World Cup tour will remain in Germany for races next week in Ruhpolding and will stop in Polijuka, Poland Jan. 20-26 before moving on to the world championships in Antholz-Anterselva, Feb. 12-20.