Four members of the Australian Uniroo Team for Winter University Games have made Australian Biathlon history.
At the business end of the Northern Hemisphere season, the 2017 Winter Universiade was held at Almaty, KAZ.
With over 2,000 participants across a number of winter sports, it was invaluable “big stage” experience for the young Uniroos.
Biathletes made up over half the Australian Uniroo team, and were up against tough competition, with biathlon teams from other nations including current participants at World Cup, World Championships and IBU Cup.
The four biathlete Uniroos were: Jill Colebourn (21, Mechatronics, University of Sydney), Jeremy Flanagan (21, Science, University of Melbourne), Tim Flanagan (20, Science, University of Melbourne) and Sabrina Howell (19, Psychology, Macquarie University).
With strong teams from traditional biathlon nations, including France, Russia and Ukraine, the Uniroos aimed for PBs; in particular, it was excellent experience to have a “minirace” with Canada in the first-ever Mixed Relay (2 Men, 2 Women) for any Australian Biathlon Team. Jill Colebourn had her own “minirace” against SLO in the Women Mass Start, becoming the first and only Australian Woman to finish a Mass Start event.
The 2017 Uniroo Biathlon Team made a number of firsts for Australian biathlon, including:
- largest ever team of Australian Biathletes at a Winter University Games
- first ever Mixed Relay in any event for Australia (2 Men, 2 Women)
- all four biathletes qualifying for the Pursuit event
- first ever Mass Start race for Australia with two Women qualifying
- first ever Mass Start result for an Australian Woman – Jill Colebourn
From here, Tim Flanagan returns to Australia to study, while Jill Colebourn, Jeremy Flanagan and Sabrina Howell move to a special training camp in Italy.
After the camp, Howell will attend IBU Youth/Junior World Championships at Brezno-Osrblie, SVK, while Colebourn and Jeremy Flanagan will attend the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, JPN, the first time ever that an Australian Team has attended this four-yearly event.