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Wild Rumpus Sports

Québec Biathlon National Team Center to Close, Paquet’s Position Eliminated

Canada’s Jean-Philippe Le Guellec (56) leads Norway's Tarjei Bø in the men's Olympic biathlon 20 k individual on Thursday in Sochi, Russia. Le Guellec went on to place 35th and Bø was 26th.

Chris Lindsay and Matthias Ahrens of Biathlon Canada have both confirmed that the national team’s Valcartier training center will be closed down later this spring, and with it coach Jean Paquet’s contract has not been renewed. Ahrens hoped that Paquet would still provide staffing on race tours; Paquet’s athlete Jean Philippe Le Guellec lamented the centralization push that was a major part of the decision.

With World Cup Podiums from Three Different Athletes, U.S. Biathlon Gains Stature in 2014

U.S. Biathlon's Susan Dunklee (l), Lowell Bailey (c) and Tim Burke led the team once again this season. (FasterSkier image includes photos from USBA/NordicFocus)

The U.S. biathlon team says that they were far from surprised when Lowell Bailey and Susan Dunklee broke through and onto the podium at the end of this season. That gains the team some recognition: “It’s obvious that we have more athletes that are a threat for everybody now for the top results,” head coach Per Nilsson says.

Crawford Bounces Back from Crash with First Career Top-10; Canada Celebrates New Depth of Women’s Team

Zina Kocher at the start of the 12.5 k mass start.

For the first time, Canada qualified two women for a biathlon mass start: Zina Kocher, who skied in second and third place for the first half of the race, and Rosanna Crawford, who achieved a longstanding goal of making the top ten. Crawford was racing with injuries sustained in a collision with a Russian coach in yesterday’s pursuit.

Fourcade Out with a Bang in Mass Start, Total Score Wins; Burke 9th (Photo Gallery)


Martin Fourcade took flight coming into the stadium with yet another win, then stuck a perfect telemark landing; Dominik Landertinger was second and Jakov Fak third in the 15 k mass start. American Tim Burke was ninth, but disappointed after losing several spots on the final loop.

Kuzmina Takes Another Oslo Win, Makarainen Prevails in Close Race for Total Score

Anastasiya Kuzmina (bib 7) at the start of today's 12.5 k mass start, where she took her second victory of the weekend.

Anastasiya Kuzmina couldn’t have been more surprised to find herself in the lead at the end of the 12.5 k mass start, but she made the most of it and finished the season happy. Meanwhile, Kaisa Makarainen took home the World Cup trophy after both she and rival Tora Berger had subpar races – but a slightly less subpar one for Makarainen than for the retiring Norwegian superstar.

Russian Head Coach Knocks Down Canada’s Rosanna Crawford Mid-Race; Jury Decision Hands Her 17th Place

Rosanna Crawford en route to 25th place in the Olympic sprint last month.

Rosanna Crawford was in 13th place in the World Cup pursuit when Russian head coach Vladimir Korolkevich, cheering for an athlete on another trail, stepped between her skis and sent her flying. Despite a time adjustment by the jury, she lost several places – as well as her hat and sunglasses.

Despite Crashes and Wind, Dunklee 6th & Bailey 14th in Another Strong Day for U.S. in Oslo

Susan Dunklee climbs the hill out of the Holmenkollen stadium en route to sixth place in the 10 k pursuit today. Photo: USBA/NordicFocus.

A crash on the first loop broke the podium tension for Susan Dunklee, who climbed her way back up to sixth place over the course of the 10 k pursuit. American teammate Lowell Bailey used three penalties to move from 19th up to 14th in the men’s 12.5 k pursuit.

Kuzmina Shoots to Huge Win in Holmenkollen Pursuit; Makarainen-Berger Total Score Battle Intensifies

Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia winning the 7.5 k sprint at the Olympics last month. Today, she won the 10 k pursuit in Oslo.

Anastasiya Kuzmina shot better than any of the other favorites and skated off to a win while they were stuck in the penalty loop. But the biggest drama might have been that when Tora Berger finished second and Kaisa Makarainen fourth, Makarainen’s lead in the World Cup overall shrank to ten points. The title will be decided in a mass start tomorrow.

Notes and Quotes: Four North American Top 20′s in Oslo

Brendan Green chasing Arnd Peiffer (GER) around the penalty loop.

Besides Susan Dunklee’s podium, Rosanna Crawford finished a career-best 11th in the Oslo World Cup sprint and biathletes Lowell Bailey and Zina Kocher also made the top 20. Here’s what the U.S. and Canadian teams had to say about their performances – and the horrible ski conditions in Oslo.

Notes, Quotes, and Photos: Sprint Day at Holmenkollen Brings Wins for Domracheva, Fak

Jakov Fak (SLO) had a penalty in standing but still eked out the win.

All the news that’s fit to print from the last World Cup sprints of the season, where Darya Domracheva of Belarus and Jakov Fak of Slovenia took home wins.

After Many Close Calls, Dunklee Ready for the Big Time and Finally Reaches World Cup Podium

Susan Dunklee celebrating the first World Cup podium of her career. Photo: USBA/NordicFocus.

Despite a fall, Susan Dunklee gutted out her first World Cup podium in a biathlon sprint in Oslo today, pushing hard in the finishing stretch to unseat Olga Vilukhina by one second and take third place. “I’m not afraid of being on the podium or even winning one of these days,” Dunklee said after notching only the third-ever World Cup podium by a U.S. woman.

Golden Rifle Finally Fits as Younger Bø Sweeps Kontiolahti World Cup Weekend

Johannes Thingnes Bø of Norway, with his golden rifle, en route to 8th place in the Olympic mass start last month.

Johannes Thingnes Bø came into this season with a rifle painted solid gold. That might seem pretty cocky for a 20-year-old Norwegian in his first year on the senior national team, but this weekend Bø swept all the World Cup races, brought his win total to five for the season, and jumped into second place in the World Cup Total Score. Maybe gold is right after all.

Smith 10th, Bailey 14th as Wind Complicates Kontiolahti Pursuit

Lowell Bailey (USA) leading a train of skiers in today's World Cup pursuit in Kontiolahti, Finland. Photo: USBA/NordicFocus.

North American men had their moments in the 12.5 k World Cup pursuit in Kontiolahti, Finland. But biathlon giveth and biathlon taketh away, especially when it’s as windy as it was in Kontiolahti today. And so at the end of [...]

Mäkäräinen Completes Kontiolahti Sweep; Dunklee 7th Despite Many Misses in Windy Finland

Susan Dunklee racing her way to seventh place in the World Cup pursuit in Kontiolahti, Finland, today. Photo: USBA/NordicFocus.

In incredibly gusty conditions, Kaisa Mäkäräinen won the 10 k biathlon pursuit by a minute over Darya Domracheva of Belarus. Susan Dunklee of the U.S. moved from eighth up to seventh despite a whopping seven penalties, thanks in part to the second-fastest ski time of the day – and other racers’ struggles on the shooting range.

Decades in the Making, Bailey Achieves First-Career World Cup Podium in Kontiolahti Sprint

Lowell Bailey racing to his first career World Cup podium in Saturday's 10 k sprint in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: USBA/Nordic Focus)

American Lowell Bailey broke through with the race of his career, tallying his first IBU World Cup podium in third in Saturday’s final sprint of the season. “I’ve been working towards this for ten years, twenty years,” Bailey says. Canadian Nathan Smith notched a career-best sprint, and all of the North American men made Sunday’s pursuit.

Dunklee Scores Second-Best Sprint Result in Eighth; Mäkäräinen Makes it a Double

Susan Dunklee (US Biathlon) racing to the second-best sprint result of her career, and this season, in the women's 7.5 k sprint on Saturday in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: USBA/Nordic Focus)

Kaisa Mäkäräinen made winning at home a habit in the second-straight IBU World Cup sprint in Kontiolahti, Finland, edging Tora Berger and Gabriela Soukalova, who both cleaned. Susan Dunklee rose to eighth for her second-best sprint result of the season and her career. Two other Americans and three Canadian women made Sunday’s pursuit.

Johannes Bø Takes Kontiolahti Sprint Victory; Smith Leads Canadians

Tim Burke crests a hill in today's 10 k sprint in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: US Biathlon/NordicFocus)

It was warm, wet and calm in Finland on Thursdsay requiring perfect shooting and strong legs. Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Bø delivered, shooting clean and beating France’s Martin Fourcade, who also cleaned, by 7.1 seconds. Canada’s Nathan Smith led the North Americans in 21st.

Makarainen is Top Woman at Home in Kontiolahti; Dreissigacker Posts Best-Ever World Cup Finish

Hannah Dreissigacker shoots to a best-ever World Cup 28th-place finish. (USBA/Nordic Focus)

Local girl Kaisa Makarainen took the top spot in today’s World Cup sprints in Finland, while two Canadians, Rosanna Crawford and Megan Heinicke, got into the top 15.

Starykh, Iourieva ‘B’ Samples Positive for EPO

Irina Starykh competing in the World Cup pursuit in Hochfilzen, Austria, in December. That weekend, the Russian finished third and fifth in individual racing.

The International Biathlon Union has for the first time confirmed that two athletes under investigation for doping since January are indeed Irina Starykh and Ekaterina Iourieva of Russia. The IBU announced that both women’s “B” samples had tested positive for EPO, and disciplinary hearings will be held in the next few weeks.

Ferry Finishes Golden Weekend with Tactical Brilliance in Mass Start Victory over Fourcade

Bjorn Ferry of Sweden (center) won today's 15 k mass start over Martin Fourcade of France (left) and Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia (right).

Bjorn Ferry may have mis-timed his Olympic peak, but that meant he has been able to enjoy an incredible weekend of World Cup racing in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Ferry bested Martin Fourcade of France with an elegant and well-timed downhill pass as the pair neared the stadium, followed by a furious sprint. “I can beat Ferry 99 times out of a hundred,” Fourcade said – but today he was wrong.