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Disastrous day for Canada in World Cup biathlon

P.G.'s Beaudry still waiting for relay tag when team forced to drop out of the race in Rhupolding, Germany

Prince George biathlete Sarah Beaudry had her licence to race in Friday’s World Cup women’s relay revoked before she even began to ski the anchor leg.

Canada’s race was over when Emily Dickson of Burns Lake was passed by Julia Simon of France, before Dickson had tagged Beaudry to begin the final six-kilometre segment on the course in Rhupolding, Germany.

Relay rules dictate that any lapped team must immediately pull off to the side and stop competing as soon as they are passed by the leader and Dickson was nearly five minutes behind the leader when Simon made her pass on the way to claiming the gold medal for France.

Canada had fallen off the pace drastically when Megan Bankes left two targets standing in her standing shooting bout. Bankes was forced to ski two 150-metre penalty loops and was 3:27.7 off the lead in 22nd place when she tagged Dickson at the second exchange.

Emma Lunder of Vernon took the lead leg and also struggled with her shooting. She needed one reload while prone and used two spares to get all five targets down in her standing session on the range. Lunder was 54.1 seconds off the lead by the time she tagged Bankes, who used two spares on her first trip through the range.

Dickson went penalty-free, using two spare rounds in each of her shootings.

Canada was one of four lapped teams in Friday’s relay and finished 22nd out of 23 teams that started.

France (Anais Chevalier-Bouchet, Chloe Chevalier, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet and Simon) used just four spares and stopped the clock in one hour 10 minutes 50 seconds. Sweden (Johanna Skottheim, Stina Nilsson, Mona Brorsson and Anna Magnusson) took silver (+3.1) and Russia (Valeria Vasnetcova, Svetlana Mironova, Irina Kazakavich and Kristina Reztsova) won bronze (+1:12.2).

The men’s 4 X 7.5 km relay is set for Saturday, followed by the pursuits on Sunday.

Lunder finished 55th in the sprint and will start the 10 km women’s pursuit 2:14 after sprint winner Elvira Oeberg of Sweden begins the race.

Three Canadian men qualified for the 12.5 km pursuit. Jules Burnotte of Sherbrooke was 45th in the sprint and will start 1:28 behind sprint winner Quentin Fillon-Maillet of France, as will Scott Gow of Canmore, who was 46th in the sprint. Christian Gow of Canmore (51st in sprint, 1:36 behind) also made the cut for the pursuit.

The races in Rhupolding this weekend are the final events to determine who will make each country’s Olympic teams.