GERMANY – Holidays in Canmore were just what Canada’s top biathlete Emma Lunder needed coming into the new year.
The sharpshooter finished ninth in the 12.5-kilometre mass start on Jan. 15 at the IBU world cup in Rupolding, Germany.
“I was really happy to crack the top-10 during our first week back racing in 2023,” said Lunder. “Our team was in Canmore for a training period over Christmas, and I think this result shows me it was definitely the right decision to come home for a little reset.”
Lunder (34:01.3) shot 18-for-20, including clean in standing, and edged out France’s Chloe Chevalier (34:02.1) at the finish line for ninth spot.
Initially, Lunder hadn’t qualified for the mass start after placing outside the top-30 in the individual race a few days prior, but she was selected to start after some athletes chose to sit out. Lunder made the most of the opportunity.
“I’m really happy with my progression in skiing speed this season, with just a few kinks to work out on the range,” said Lunder. “There’s a nice team vibe going right now, and I think everyone is hungry for more good racing.”
The ninth spot is Lunder’s third trip into the top-10 in 2022-23. At the beginning of the season, Lunder finished an astonishing fourth place in sprint and fifth in pursuit in Kontiolhati, Finland.
The women’s relay team, consisting of Lunder, Nadia Moser, Emily Dickson, and Benita Peiffer, scored a season best 12th place in Rupolding.
Over on the men’s side, Canada’s top man Christian Gow continues to try and find his stride overseas. Gow placed 37th in the individual in Rupolding and did not qualify for the mass start.
So far this season, the Canuck has been unable to crack the top-30 in solo events.
The biggest competition of the season is less than a month away as the IBU world championships get underway in Oberhof, Germany, from Feb. 8-19.