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What Smith’s Win Means in Terms of the Green for Biathlon Canada

Nathan Smith celebrates after becoming just the second Canadian man to ever win a biathlon World Cup, after winning Saturday's 12.5 k pursuit in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. (Photo: Biathlon Canada/NordicFocus.com)

We caught up with Canadian biathlon staff and athletes to chat about the significance of Nathan Smith’s World Cup in on Saturday, just the second in history for a Canadian man. It’s good for Smith and good for the program – but Own the Podium is unlikely to reward it with money, because the funding body only considers World Championships and Olympic medal performances.

By a Mile, Not an Inch: Smith Wins First World Cup with Stunning 24-Second Margin

Smith celebrating his first trip to the very top step of the podium. (Photo: Biathlon Canada/NordicFocus.com)

Nathan Smith took the lead after the third shooting stage, and never gave it back – despite the best efforts of superstars like Martin Fourcade and Anton Shipulin. “It was kind of surreal,” Smith said of entering the final loop with a 37-second lead and savoring the moments leading up to his first World Cup win. Meanwhile, Martin Fourcade clinched his fourth consecutive World Cup title, a feat that has never before been accomplished in biathlon.

Despite Wacky Errors, Domracheva Dominates Khanty-Mansiysk Pursuit; Crawford 13th

Darya Domracheva of Belarus, here winning a pursuit in Antholz, Italy, was at it again, capturing the penultimate win of the 2014-2015 season in a pursuit in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. (Photo: Fischer/NordicFocus)

Darya Domracheva tried to shoot standing in a prone stage, then nearly dropped her rifle. But she was 100% focused when it counted, and now looks likely to capture the overall World Cup title. Rosanna Crawford of Canada shot 19-for-20 and moved from 28th up to 19th.

Renewed After World Champs, Dreissigacker Posts Career-Best 14th; Mäkäräinen Wins Khanty Sprint

Susan Dunklee (US Biathlon) racing to 26th in the IBU World Cup 7.5 k sprint on Friday in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. (Photo: USBA/NordicFocus)

Hannah Dreissigacker rebounded from 75-percent shooting at IBU World Championships to hit 90 percent of her targets on Friday and place 14th for a career best in the final IBU World Cup sprint of the season in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Also for the U.S., Susan Dunklee finished 26th, and Canada’s Rosanna Crawford was close behind in 28th.

Smith Back in Flower Ceremony in Fifth in Khanty Sprint; Fourcade Extends Overall Lead

On Thursday after winning the 10 k sprint, Fourcade enjoyed a reindeer-drawn victory lap in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. He now has a crystal globe to celebrate as well. (Photo: IBU/Evgeny Tumashov)

Nathan Smith shot 9-for-10 and ended up fifth, 34 seconds behind winner Martin Fourcade, in Thursday’s 10 k sprint in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, the final stop on the IBU World Cup tour. Leif Nordgren led the U.S. in 21st with 90-percent shooting as well, finishing 1:14 back despite feeling under the weather.

Smith Recovering After Bone-Crushing Canmore Biathlon Crash

Casey Smith (Maine Winter Sports Center/U.S. Biathlon "B" Team) competing in a NorAm in Canmore, Alberta, in early December. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

When Casey Smith went flying off the race course in Canmore, Alberta, he was knocked unconscious; he later found he had broken many ribs, a shoulder blade, and bones in his back, as well as puncturing a lung. The U.S. biathlete is recovering at home, a process which will be long but which he’s approaching optimistically.

Semerenko Keeps Calm and Cleans for Mass Start Victory; Dunklee 20th, Heinicke 24th

Ukraine's Valj Semerenko (r) celebrates her first World Championships victory on Sunday in the women's 12.5 k mass start at 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. She beat Germany's Franziska Preuss by 6.2 seconds. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Risto Kuittinen)

On the closing day of 2015 IBU World Championships, Ukraine’s Valj Semerenko became an individual world champion in the women’s mass start, beating Germany’s Franziska Preuss by 6.2 seconds with perfect shooting. American Susan Dunklee finished 20th with five penalties and Canada’s Megan Heinicke shot 19-for-20 to place 24th.

Fak Gets What He Came For in Last Race of IBU World Champs; Bailey 13th, Burke 14th

Start of the men's 15 k mass start on Sunday at IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, with Martin Fourcade (r) and Norway's Johannes Thingnes Bø (l) leading and Canada's Nathan Smith (l) near the front. Smith went on to miss two on the first shooting stage and one in the third stage to finish 23rd overall. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Kari Kuninkaanniemi)

While Slovenia’s Jakov Fak outlasted Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic and two Norwegians, Tarjei Bø and Ole Einar Bjørndalen, on the last lap to win the mass start at IBU World Championships, four North Americans put down races they were proud of: with Lowell Bailey in 13th, Tim Burke in 14th, Brendan Green in 21st, and Nathan Smith in 23rd.

Deutschland Does It Again, Racks Up Second-Straight Relay Gold at IBU World Champs

A happy German team celebrates its second win in two days of relays at 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, with the men's 4 x 7.5 k victory on Saturday. From left to right: Erik Lesser, Daniel Böhm, Arnd Peiffer, and Simon Schempp. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Kari Kuninkaanniemi)

Simon Schempp and three teammates combined for Germany’s second gold in the last two days of relays at 2015 IBU World Championships, topping Norway and France, respectively. The U.S. got off to a strong start with Lowell Bailey, but finished 14th with two penalties. The Canadians had two penalties as well and ended up 19th.

Young German Relay Dusts Women’s Field; Canada 10th, U.S. Matches Season-Best 12th at IBU World Champs

The German women's relay rushes the finish line to greet anchor Laura Dahlmeier, who secured their win by more than a minute over France in the 4 x 6 k relay at 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. The German team included Franziska Hildebrand, Franziska Preuss and Vanessa Hinz. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Kari Kuninkaanniemi)

Germany’s Vanessa Hinz relied on fast skiing and precise shooting to give her team a 30-second lead heading into the last leg of Friday’s 4 x 6 k relay at IBU World Championships, and teammate Laura Dahlmeier ran away with it to win by more than a minute. Canada achieved its top-10 team goal, and the U.S. matched its season best in 12th.

Mr. Clutch: Fourcade Champion of Another 20 k; Green and Bailey in Top 24 at IBU World Champs

A relieved Martin Fourcade of France crosses the line in first in Thursday's 20 k individual at the 2015 IBU World Championships, 20.9 seconds faster than Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen to win his first medal of the championships in 47:29.4 in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Kaisa Kontiainen)

The podium-surprise streak at IBU World Championships ended on Thursday, with regulars Martin Fourcade, Emil Hegle Svendsen and Ondrej Moravec taking gold, silver and bronze in the men’s 20 k individual, respectively. Canada’s Brendan Green placed 21st to lead the North Americans, and three U.S. men placed in the top 33.

Yurlova Pulls Off Perfect 15 k Individual for Gold; Dunklee 12th at IBU World Champs

Russia's Ekaterina Yurlova reacts after sealing her first career victory and podium on the World Cup level at  IBU World Championships on Wednesday in the women's 15 k individual in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Kari Kuninkaanniemi)

Leave it to dads to predict medal potential. Ekaterina Yurlova’s father did just that, one month before the Russian won gold at IBU World Championships in the women’s 15 k on Wednesday. Susan Dunklee placed 12th with her best shooting in an individual race in the last week, and Megan Heinicke tallied her third-straight top 30 in Kontiolahti.

Lesser Finds Perfection in IBU World Champs Pursuit; Smith Leads North Americans in 13th

U.S. biathlete TIm Burke prepares to shoot in the 12.5 k pursuit at the 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. he finished 20th on the day. (Photo: USBA/Nordic Focus)

German biathlete Erik Lesser earned his first victory in Sunday’s 12.5 k pursuit at the 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. Canadian Nathan Smith was the top North American in 13th after placing second in Saturday’s 10 k sprint.

Habert Rolls to Second-Straight World Champs Gold; Two Canadian Women in Pursuit Top 30

France's Marie Dorin Habert celebrates her second win in two-straight races at 2015 IBU World Championships after taking gold in Sunday's 10 k pursuit in Kontiolahti, Finland. She finished 15.3 seconds ahead of Germany's silver medalist, Laura Dahlmeier. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Jarno Artika)

France’s Marie Dorin Habert was essentially speechless in a post-race press conference after winning her second gold in as many days at IBU World Championships, and her third medal of the week. American Susan Dunklee skied the third-fastest course time, shooting excluded, and Canada’s Rosanna Crawford and Megan Heinicke finished in the top 30.

Smith Soars into Canadian History with World Champs Silver, Breaks Up Bø Brothers in Sprint

Nathan Smith (l) on the 2015 IBU World Championships 10 k sprint podium on Saturday with Norwegian brothers Johannes Thingnes Bø (c) and Tarjei Bø (r) in Kontiolahti, Finland. Smith placed second for Canada's first-ever men's podium at World Championships.

Nathan Smith had the confidence he needed for Saturday’s sprint on the first day of individual racing at 2015 IBU World Championships, even if the soft-spoken Canadian didn’t show it. “I knew if I had an average day … that it could be really good,” Smith said. What he didn’t expect was silver, Canada’s first-ever medal for a male at World Championships.

Led by Burke and Bailey in Top 20, Four U.S. Men Advance to World Champs Pursuit

Tim Burke (US Biathlon) on his way to 15th in Saturday's 10 k sprint at 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: USBA/NordicFocus)

Two misses wasn’t so bad for Tim Burke, who relied on what he considered solid shooting to finish 15th on Saturday for his best sprint result since December. Lowell Bailey was close behind in 17th, and all four U.S. men made the top 60 for Sunday’s pursuit.

Habert Beats Blizzard to Win IBU World Champs Sprint; Conditions Get the Best of North American Women

The women's podium in Saturday's 7.5 k sprint at the 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. (From l-r) Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak of Poland (2nd), Marie Dorin Habert of France (1st), and Valj Semereko of Ukraine (3rd). (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)

The world’s best biathletes battled blowing snow and variable conditions in the women’s 7.5 k sprint at the 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. In the end it was France’s Marie Dorin Habert who walked away with the victory while Canada’s Megan Heinicke was the first North American in 23rd.

U.S. Eighth, Canada 12th in Sloppy IBU World Champs Mixed Relay

Anais Bescond of France (center, in black) leads the first leg out of the start in Thursday's mixed relay at IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: Biathlon Canada/NordicFocus)

“Slushfest” was the word that best described the opening race of the 2015 IBU World Championships. Despite the challenging conditions, both the U.S. and Canadian mixed relays skied and shot their way to match their best World Championships results, with eighth- and 12th-place finishes, respectively.

Moravec Anchors Czech Republic to IBU World Championships Gold in Mushy Mixed Relay

Ondrej Moravec celebrates a sizable win for the Czech Republic in Thursday's mixed relay at 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland.  (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Jarno Artika)

The Czech Republic handled the soft-and-slushy conditions on the first day of 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, better than any other team in the mixed relay, winning gold by a comfortable margin ahead of France and defending Olympic champs Norway.

Notes, Quotes and Photos: Pursuit Day at IBU World Youth & Junior Championships

Photo: Jake Ellingson.

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.