Ostersund, Sweden, February 13. A strong cold front blasted through Ostersund early Wednesday morning, causing the 15K Individual competition scheduled for today to be canceled and rescheduled for Thursday at 14:05 PM CET.
The change in the schedule means that both the Women’s 15K and the Men’s 20K will be on Thursday. The men’s competition will start as scheduled at 17:15 CET. The decision to cancel today’s competition was announced by IBU Race Director Franz Berger. Berger said, â€œThe winds are just too strong to have a fair competition for all of the athletes.â€
Winds which gusted as high as 60 miles per hour ripped banners from the fences, dropped large branches on the tracks, destroyed several television camera positions, as well as taking the roof off of the mobile studio of one broadcaster. The storm also changed the plans for Sweden's King Karl XVI. Gustav. The Monarch was a guest at the World Championships today and scheduled to take part in a “royal shooting practice” at 12:30 CET but that was also postponed. It is not known at this time if the Monarch will attend the competitions tomorrow.
Starters for the US Biathlon Team in the 15K Individual remain the same with Laura Spector (Lenox, MA), Lanny Barnes (Durango, CO), Haley Johnson (lake Placid, NY), and Caitlin Compton (Minneapolis, MN).
Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY), Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY), Jeremy Teela (Anchorage, AK), and Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME) will represent the US in the Men’s 20K Individual.
Live streaming video coverage of the Biathlon World Championships as well as Biathlon World Cup competitions for the remainder of the season, and archived highlights, are available by clicking the athlete photo at the top of the news column at www.usbiathlon.org
A television camera position down for the count