BiathlonBedard and Crawford Victorious Again in Valcartier, Set Up for National Championship Sweeps

Avatar Chelsea LittleMarch 17, 2012
Marc-Andre Bedard at World Championships in Ruhpolding, Germany earlier this month.

On the second day of Canadian Biathlon Nationals in Valcartier, Quebec, one thing looked exactly the same: Rosanna Crawford and Marc-André Bédard finished atop the results sheet.

This time, the field was faced with 7.5 and 10 k sprints, with each competitor facing a prone and then a standing stage.

In the men’s race, Bédard raced to a six and a half second victory over Scott Gow of Alberta, despite having three penalties to Gow’s one.

“I had won my first title here on Thursday in the 15 k and I repeated that feat today with another victory in the 10 k sprint,” Bédard wrote in an e-mail. “I missed three targets, but to ski in front of my supporters gave me wings and I took victory over one of my World Cup teammates.”

Gow, who placed third almost two minutes behind Bédard in the mass start on Thursday, was pleased with his performances so far.

“The race did go well today and so far I’m two for two in medals which is great,” he told FasterSkier. “I do feel like I’m ending on a good note, and it’s a continuation of how the season has been for me so far.”

Kurtis Wenzel, who won gold at World Junior Championships earlier this season, placed third, 48 seconds behind Bédard.

In the women’s race, things were more spread out, with Crawford taking a 53-second win over Yolaine Oddou despite missing one shot while Oddou cleaned. Melanie Schulz placed third, also with one penalty.

“Yesterday’s mass start definitely let me know that I am at top form right now and with some good shooting that being on top again should happen!” she wrote in an e-mail. “Skiing felt really strong today and after my last shooting I didn’t really know where anyone else was sitting, so I just made sure to hammer all the way.”

Adding to Crawford’s confidence was an atmosphere of fun spring skiing.

“The sun was trying to break through the fog, but the course was nice and fast and there wasn’t any wind on the range,” she said, describing more or less perfect biathlon conditions.

Gow agreed.

“Overall, really nice day, and it was also nice to be able to have a decent result,” he said.

Both Crawford and Bédard will try to go three for three in tomorrow’s pursuit, which has been modified so that time gaps are not maintained from today’s results, but are instead five seconds between each athlete.

“I’ll start tomorrow with bib number one and hopefully I’ll keep it,” said Bédard.

“I think I should be able to pull off a sweep, unless something goes horribly wrong in the range,” Crawford said. “But that’s the great thing about biathlon – you never know who’s going to win!”

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Chelsea Little

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