The Australian Biathlon Championships 2015 are shaping up to be the largest – and strongest – field in two decades.
Snow conditions are excellent and the weather forecast promising for tomorrow and Sunday at Mt Hotham, site of the only biathlon range in Australia.
Over 40 participants will cross the start line. These will include young champion international biathletes from ITA and SUI, who have been training at Mt Hotham for several weeks. Australians lining up will include the 2014 Australian Open Men and Women winners, Damon Morton and Jillian Colebourn. Several keen Masters (over 25) age group always participate and this year include both “old and bold” and newcomers. There are several athletes in the 12-18 age class, a group which has been increasing in numbers over the last few years.
We are especially pleased to include our laser biathlon participants; laser biathlon has been an outstanding success since its introduction in Summer Biathlon events a few years ago. Under 12s previously unable to participate in biathlon, due to firearms restrictions, are now moving onto regular .22 biathlon. In addition, laser biathlon is used in schools and other places previously not available and lasers are popular with parents who just want to “have a go for fun”.
Much interest will be focused on the group of participants born in 1998 and 1999, ie those in contention for Winter Youth Olympic Games (WYOG) at Lillehammer, NOR 2016. In this age group a total of four athletes (Men and Women) are confirmed as starting tomorrow. This is the second weekend of Selection races for the one Male and one Female spots that Australia may nominate for WYOG 2016. At the first weekend, the Victorian Championships last month, best shooting results were obtained by Darcie Morton of Marlo, VIC, who hit all her targets in the Sprint event. To be nominated for WYOG 2016, an athlete needs to obtain a result in one Individual (distance) race and one Sprint race in the 2015 Victorian or Australian Championship events.
Timings for Saturday’s Individual (distance) and Sunday’s Sprint events are:
Competitor briefing: 9:10 am Whiskey Flat Shelter
Zeroing: 9:15 am to 9:40 am
Start time: 9:50 am
Updates/late changes may be found at our Team App site: https://australianbiathlon.teamapp.com
Spectators are always most welcome!
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