Australia’s Lucy Glanville has finished 82nd in the Women’s Biathlon 7.5km Sprint in her debut Olympic event at the Laura Cross Country Ski and Biathlon Centre on Day 2.
In what was undoubtedly a learning experience for the 19-year-old, Glanville finished two spots above her ranking after coming into the competition as the lowest ranked athlete.
Glanville clocked a time of 26 minutes 57.1 seconds, just under six minutes behind Slovakian Anastasiya Kuzmina who claimed back-to-back gold in the Sprint after winning the event in Vancouver.
One of four teenagers in the event, Glanville cleared her first round of shooting to sit 1:36.8 off the lead.
She then missed two shots after completing the gruelling circuit for the second time as she was 4:18.8 behind the Gold medal winner before heading out on her final lap.
“I definitely pushed really hard today,” said Glanville.
“I think I may have pushed a little too hard early on as I kind of faded towards the end but you live and you learn, it’s all to do with experience.
“The track was really tough. I’m not used to those kinds of races just yet.”
Knowing that she was not going to be able to mix it with her older, more experienced competitors she focused on closing the gap between herself and the sport’s elite.
“I wanted to look at my ski time more importantly than the result because I am one of the youngest in the field and I suppose I am happy with it.
“It is important to see how my skiing compared to them because shooting comes with time.”
Glanville equipped herself well in the shooting and was pleasantly surprised that she shot clear after her first circuit.
“It was great that I was clear through the first shooting round.
“My Standing is usually much better than Prone so I was happy with that and then I missed the first and last shots in the Standing which are always the two hardest to get.”
With her first Olympic event in the history books, Australia’s only 2014 Games female biathlete will now turn her attention to her next event
“I’ve been a bit sick the past couple of days so now that I’ve finished this course I will hope to get into some harder training in the next couple of days so I can build into the Individual event.
“The Individual is a lot harder (than the Sprint) we go up a super steep hill for that one and I’m not as strong as these girls so it will be a really tough race but if I’m in good form it should be alright if I pace myself properly.”
Glanville is no stranger to Russia and actually lives with the parents of the event’s gold medalist, Kuzmina, when she is away from Australia.
“I was really excited to be here in Russia because I train here. It feels like a second home here so I’m kind of racing for home (Australia) at home in a way.
Kuzmina beat home local favourite Olga Vilukhina with Ukraine’s Vita Semerenko claiming the Bronze medal. World Cup leader and competition favourite Tara Berger could no emulate her Norwegian teammate Ole Einar Bjoerndalen’s efforts in yesterday’s men’s Sprint as she crossed the line with only the 10th fastest time.
Although still having an event to go in Sochi Glanville already has one eye on the future.
“I’m hoping to qualify for Korea and other Games after that so this is all a learning experience.”
Matt Bartolo | sochi2014.olympics.com.au