VALCARTIER, Que.—Rosanna Crawford and Marc-André Bédard were first to strike gold in the opening day of competition at the Canadian Biathlon Championships in Valcartier, Que. on Thursday.
Making her first appearance at the national dance since 2009, the 23-year-old Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., missed just two shots in four rounds of shooting to win the women’s 12.5-kilometre mass start competition with a time of 45:13.3.
“I am really happy with my result today and it is great to be on top of the podium against many of the girls I’ve been racing all season,” said Crawford, who represented Canada at the 2010 Olympics. “It would have been nice to have Zina (Kocher) and Megan (Imrie) here to compete against, but there is a strong group of women. I definitely feel the pressure to represent my province and do them proud. I feel like I accomplished that today.”
Crawford stomped the field with Quebec’s Claude Godbout being the next best competitor, finishing nearly 90 seconds off the pace in second at 46:38.6 (0+1+1+3). Yolaine Oddou, of Val Belair, Que., rounded out the women’s podium in third with a time of 48:32.5 (1+2+2+2).
Meanwhile, Marc-André Bédard captured the first gold medal of the weekend for Quebec athletes. The 26-year-old, of Valcartier, Que., clocked a time of 42:49.2 in the men’s 15-kilometre mass start event despite missing five shots in his four trips to the range on a sunny and warm day at his home training centre.
Patrick Coté, of Grand-Sault, N.B., finished second at 44:01.5 (0+0+3+1), while Calgary’s Scott Gow landed in third spot after posting a time of 44:39.8 (0+1+0+3).
Quebec’s Audrey Vaillancourt won the junior women’s 10-kilometre mass start competition with a time of 36:18.1 (4+1+0+0). Calgary’s Aaron Gillmor captured the junior men’s title in the 12.5-kilometre mass start with a time of 42:51.6. Gillmor went 1+1+3+3 on the range.
The Canadian Championships continue on Saturday in Valcartier, Quebec.
Biathlon Canada, the governing body for biathlon in the country, oversees the Canadian Championships, Eastern and Western Canadian Championships, and North American Cups held in Canada. The organization’s mandate is to provide national level programs for the continuous development of biathlon athletes from the grassroots to the elite level. For more information on Biathlon Canada, please visit their Web site at www.biathloncanada.ca on the Internet.
Complete Results: http://www.acbq.qc.ca/