Whitehorse biathlete Nadia Moser says the jump from youth to junior was what she expected it to be. Her results at the International Biathlon Union’s Youth/Junior World Championships reflect that.
After two top-25 finishes in the youth division at last year’s worlds, Moser posted 30th and 31st place finishes at this year’s championship in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia.
“I am definitely enjoying this world championships. I was feeling a little more comfortable competing internationally this year because I have a little more experience than I did at the last world juniors,” said Moser in an email to the News.
“I am fairly happy with my overall performance. My shooting definitely could have been a lot better than it was. My results were OK. I was hoping to have slightly better results especially in the individual.”
Moser placed 31st in the junior women’s 7.5-kilometre sprint on Feb. 25. She missed one shot at both trips to the range to finish with a time of 23 minutes and 14.2 seconds.
She then placed 30th out of 56 biathletes in the junior women’s 10-kilometre pursuit the next day. Moser hit 17 out of 20 at the range — hitting all five targets twice — and finished at 35:33.0.
Both days she was the second highest finishing Canadian in junior women behind teammate Megan Bankes.
“I am content with my 30th place in the pursuit,” said Moser. “It was a really exciting race for me because for most of it I was close to 20th place … and then I had to do two penalty loops after my last shooting and slipped back down to 30th. I also had a small crash on one loop and lost a pole on my loop so that kept the race extra exciting.”
Moser opened the championships with a 41st finish in the junior women’s 12.5-kilometre individual on Feb. 23.
She wrapped up the championship helping the Canadian team place 14th in the junior women’s 3×6-kilometre relay on Feb. 28, finishing ahead of Finland, Slovakia and the U.S.
Moser is part of a historic Canadian team in Slovakia. For the first time in Biathlon Canada history the team has had two champions at the junior worlds with Bankes winning gold in the 12.5-kilometre individual on Feb. 23 and teammate Leo Grandbois taking gold in the youth men’s 12.5-kilometre individual race on Feb. 22.
At 19 years old, Moser will be eligible to compete in junior women again next year.
“In my opinion, Nadia has confirmed that she belongs among the top athletes of her age on the world stage,” said Richard Boruta, head coach of the Biathlon Alberta Training Centre where Moser trains full-time, in an email to the News. “Even though she might have had potential for even better results, I believe she stood her ground and proved that her training is heading in the right direction. She has been the younger in the two-year category of junior women, so I believe that next year she can finish in the top 10. I would expect her to become the national team member in two years from now.”
With her performances over the last week, Moser has been selected to represent Canada at IBU Cup events — at the senior level — in Finland and Estonia this month.
Moser placed 35th out of 83 biathletes in the women’s 15-kilometre individual race at an IBU Cup in Austria in December.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com