Despite never having done a 15-kilometre race before, Whitehorse biathlete Nadia Moser had her best International Biathlon Union finish of the season in one on Friday.
Moser placed 35th out of 83 biathletes in the women’s 15-kilometre individual race at the IBU Cup 3 in Obertilliach, Austria.
It was her highest finish out of four IBU Cup races, including two the previous weekend in Ridnaun-Val Ridanna, Italy.
“I feel much better about my results in Obertilliach. I was hoping to improve a little bit on my results from Ridnaun and I did,” said Moser in an email to the News.
“The individual was my first 15-km race. Although I was not skiing super fast I still managed to shoot well and get a decent placing. Overall I am happy with how that race went.”
Moser was the top Canadian in the 15-kilometre race with teammate Erin Yungblut placing 66th and Megan Banks not starting.
The 19-year-old then placed 49th out of 86 in the women’s 7.5-kilometre sprint on Saturday.
Though she didn’t always get results she was hoping for, her shooting has been strong on the European trip.
Moser hit 18 out of 20 Friday and eight out of 10 on Saturday.
“Shooting is always a big focus. In biathlon you need to be able to hit most of your targets to do well, especially once you start to compete on the international level. Missing one shot could possibly move you down 10 places,” said Moser.
The previous weekend at the IBU Cup 2 in Italy Moser placed 55th in a field of 91 — hitting nine of 10 at the range — in the women’s 7.5-kilometre sprint.
The next day she was lapped out in the 10-kilometre pursuit.
Though competing in the open women division in Europe, Moser still has this season and next season as junior.
“From a Biathlon Canada perspective I can tell you we are excited by Nadia’s results. Nadia has shown a great progression over the past few years,” said national women’s team coach Roddy Ward in an email to the News.
“At senior world cup trials in November Nadia showed two great performances and has now had some solid results on the IBU Cup, especially for a first-year junior. Nadia has potential for top results at world junior (championships) later in the season but she must stay focused and continue to look at ways to progress. No doubt Nadia is someone we are looking at for the future.”
Moser, who secured a position on Canada’s team at the IBU Cup events with strong performances at national team trials last month, trains full-time at the Biathlon Alberta Training Centre in Canmore.
She twice skied and shot into the top 25 for youth women at her first IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Romania last January.
“Thank you to Sport Yukon and everyone who has supported me thus far. I really appreciate it,” added Moser.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com