In a busy day outside of Minsk, Belarus, Sean Doherty finished 11th for the U.S. in the junior men’s pursuit, followed by Canada’s Aidan Millar in 14th; Millar’s teammate Pearce Hanna placed 13th in the youth men’s race. We caught up with nine different North American competitors, plus have a gallery of photos by Jake Ellingson and Jane Robertson to share.
Conway, New Hampshire, might not be surprised that yet again, Sean Doherty is bringing home a medal in his luggage from a major international competition. But after two years of winning at the youth level, making the podium as a junior is still a big accomplishment. Doherty starts Sunday’s pursuit ten seconds out of first place.
Stepping up from youth to junior racing is supposed to be hard – but in doing so, Canmore’s Aidan Millar turned in his best result ever in international championship racing. “I’m finding it hard to believe that I was actually able to get that result,” he wrote of finishing 8th in the 10 k sprint in Belarus.
When Chloe Levins arrived in Belarus, she had been sick and missed a training block. She wasn’t thrilled with her first race, but by the time round two rolled around she was ready: Levins cleaned all ten targets to place 18th. Pearce Hanna led the Canadian team by finishing 34th in the men’s 7.5 k sprint.
Gabriela Soukalova and Veronika Vitkova are stars on the biathlon circuit. But their younger teammates Eva Puskarcikova and Jitka Landova are proving just as essential in building a relay behemoth: with their third win this eason, the Czechs are favorites going into World Championships. Canada finished eighth with a brand-new relay lineup.
Belarusian Darya Domracheva took the overall IBU World Cup leader’s bib from Finland’s Kaisa Mäkäräinen with a 14.3-second win in Saturday’s sprint, and Rosanna Crawford finished 1.6 seconds out of 10th in 13th for Canada. American Hannah Dreissigacker had her best result of the season in 16th with perfect shooting.
Finland’s Kaisa Mäkäräinen shot 20-for-20 for the first time to win a 15 k, and Canada’s Megan Heinicke and Audrey Vaillancourt cleaned as well to place 12th and 30th, respectively. It was Heinicke’s fourth top-15 of the season and Vaillancourt’s career best, and American Susan Dunklee raced to 11th overall.
Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier squeaked ahead of teammate Franziska Hildebrand on the final loop to earn her first-ever IBU World Cup victory. American Susan Dunklee took ninth to capture her third-straight top-10 result, while American Annelies Cook had one of her best World Cup results ever in taking 28th.
He felt a little weird saying it, but Bernd Eisenbichler viewed Friday’s single mixed relay — a brand-new event which was first tested in Oslo last season — as a “good training opportunity” for US Biathlon’s Annelies Cook and Tim Burke. The two teamed up for ninth on the first day of the IBU World Cup in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
Leif Nordgren missed two weeks of training and the first weekend of World Cup racing after coming down sick over his holiday break. After a less-than-satisfying return to elite competition, he hatched a plan to use Open European Championships to get revved back up. In today’s pursuit, he did just that.