IBU World Cup (Antholz, Italy): Women’s 15 k individual
In her first-ever 15-kilometer individual race, Canada’s 25-year-old Emma Lunder captured a career-best 21st at Thursday’s International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Antholz, Italy.
The last time Lunder scored World Cup points was at her very first IBU World Cup in 2014 in Pokljuka, Slovenia. There, she placed 30th in the sprint and went on to finish 41st in the pursuit, which stood as her best World Cup finishes — until Thursday.
In the women’s 15 k individual, a four-stage race that penalizes one minute for every missed shot, Lunder was one of the best shooters out there, shooting 19-for-20, missing one shot on her second prone stage (0+0+1+0). Out of 99 competitors, Lunder was one of four who missed just one. No one cleaned all four stages.
Lunder started last in bib 99 and ended up 21st at the finish, 3:29.7 minutes behind winner Laura Dahlmeier of Germany, who won in 44:48.7 with two one-minute penalties (1+1+0+0).
Dahlmeier started 15th and battled windy conditions for the victory, with a time that was 3.8 seconds faster than France’s eventual runner-up Anais Chevalier, who started 32nd and missed one (0+1+0+0). Italy’s Alexia Runggaldier notched her first World Cup podium in third (+46.0) after starting 59th and missing just one target as well (0+1+0+0).
“I was extremely happy with my shooting performance and hitting 19/20 targets on a tough day!” Lunder wrote in an email. “I think I had fairly consistent wind for both prone and standing, and was happy not to have any big gusts blowing me around!
“… To be just out of top-20 today feels pretty amazing,” she continued. “Today was a huge day for me on the range, and I think there’s still work to be done on the skiing side of things, but I know I’m headed in the right direction.”
Also for Biathlon Canada, Megan Tandy tallied a season-best individual result of 33rd (+5:02) despite four penalties, including two on her last standing stage (1+1+0+2), and Julia Ransom placed 55th (+6:28.2) with four penalties (0+3+0+1). Rosanna Crawford did not race.
Clare Egan was the top American in 59th (+6:58.6) with six penalties (1+4+0+1) that added six minutes to her time, and US Biathlon teammate Joanne Reid was right behind in 60th (+7:05.2) with six misses as well (2+2+1+1). Susan Dunklee in bib 46 started at the tail end of the group that appeared to face the windiest conditions, and finished 71st (+7:58.0) with eight penalties (0+4+2+2). Maddie Phaneuf finished 81st (+9:18.9) for the U.S, with seven penalties (3+1+1+2).
The men’s 20 k individual starts Friday at 8:15 Eastern time. Watch it live on Eurovisionsports.tv.