Well I was going to do my usual thing and write a part 2 for the Antholz weekend recap. However, with two and a half weeks before the World Championships, I thought why not just blow out some of the smaller things I would put into part 2 into full pieces? The whole point of part 2 of my weekend recaps is to briefly share the things I would love to write more about, but I just don’t have time. But now I have the time!
So today I’m just going to share some athletes/teams who had great races and weekends in Antholz!
Chloe Chevalier (2) – In her 72nd career solo race on the World Cup Chloe Chevalier grabbed her first podium. She was 3 seconds from her first win! It was an amazing day for her and her sister was literally moved to tears watching Chevalier climb the podium. Before Antholz her career best had been 8th. She must have been getting tired of it because she had done it four times including the Annecy-le Grand Bornand mass start this season. Well now there is only one place to go for a new career high…her first win!
Roman Rees (4) – Would you believe that Roman Rees has only two races in his career that were better than 4th? He finished 3rd two prior times. This season he has finished 4th three different times including twice this weekend. This was ALMOST the best weekend of his career. The only one better was Kontiolahti this season when he finished 4th in the Individual and 3rd in the Sprint.
Austrian Women’s Relay (5) – This weekend the women of Austria, without having the best woman in Austrian biathlon history, had the very best finish in their history! Dunja Zdouch, Anna Gandler, Anna Juppe, and Julia Schwaiger had a phenomenal shooting day with just three total misses by the entire team. Of the 11 teams who finished the race, only the French team who won had fewer misses. I can’t stress enough what a phenomenal result this was. Especially with the two middle legs being the two young Annas who will be counted on to be the backbone of the Austrian team in the next several years!
Annamarija Lampic (5) – She has three career races and has two career top 5’s. It’s a crazy ratio. Her speed remains unmatched. When she shoots 80% she’s going to compete. The next step is for her to finally be able to race in a Pursuit race. I can’t wait to see how everybody else reacts?
Janina Hettich-Walz (7) – Hettich-Walz’s 7th place finish in the Sprint race was the 2nd best finish of her career and her 5th career top 10. She’s just 26 but it feels like she’s been around for a few more years than that. Hopefully these top 10 finishes can continue to become a more regular thing!
Canadian Women (8) – The Canadian women have fielded a relay team in 109 races 1988. In that time they have only finished better than 8th 11 times. Of those 11 times just three of them occurred in this century. Nadia Moser in particular had a phenomenal relay but the entire team including Emma Lunder, Benita Peiffer, and Emily Dickson had to show up for this. Of the entire team, all of Moser, Peiffer, and Dickson are 25 and younger. They could have a few more high finishes sooner rather than later.
Caroline Colombo (8) – No it wasn’t a career best but a 2nd career top 10 is worth noting! Yet another French woman having a career best season right now. This is getting crazy!
Justus Strelow (9) – Justus Strelow came through with his third career top 10 finish with a 9th in the Sprint. All three of those top 10s are this season. The German men have to be very happy to see this coming. They need some solid performances from the young(er) guys!
Hanna Kebinger (10) – In her first races on the World Cup this season Hanna Kebinger wasted no time in making a splash. It was good enough for her to get her first top 20 with a 19th place finish in the Sprint. But then she went ahead and got 10th in the Pursuit. Then in the relay she showed no nerves anchoring the German team to a podium finish. She looked like she belongs and the German coaches took notice. She’s going to Worlds!
Adam Runnalls (13) – The first of two Canadians on this list! Adam Runnalls is just 24 years old and after Antholz now has three top 20 finishes for the season. That’s a great season so far for the young Canadian. In the Sprint race he was perfect shooting and 41st course time rank. He’s starting to consistently be in the 30-40s in course time rank. He could be really good!
Tilda Johansson (20) – In just the 3rd race of her World Cup career, the 23 year old Swede earned her first top 20. She was 33rd in the Sprint and then had a great Pursuit to move up to 20th. She is racing in the European Championships this weekend and is showing great form right now!
Anna Juppe (23) – Anna Juppe became the 2nd young Anna (Anna Gandler) for team Austria to have a career best this season. Anna Juppe has now 17 career races on the World Cup. Just two weeks ago in Ruhpolding she finished 25th in the Individual. Well she broke that immediately by finishing 23rd in the Sprint!
Samuela Comola (25) – In her 2nd full time season on the World Cup Comola is starting to find a little bit more success. This past week in Antholz she didn’t set a new career best but her 25th in the Sprint was the 2nd best finish of her career. More good things to come!
Nadia Moser (27) – Nadia Moser had a terrific 2nd trimester for Team Canada. She’s just 25 and has 39 career races on the World Cup. So far this season she has six of her seven best ever finishes including a 27th in the Antholz Sprint followed by a 30th in the Pursuit. Those are good enough for the 2nd and 4th best of her career! More than that though she was amazing in the relay race. She left the podium in 2nd place with both shootings. Really solid trimester and hopefully more to come!
Karol Dombrovski (27) – The 31 year old Lithuanian had not only his 2nd best finish but his best race in four seasons. It was great to see him racing well again!
Dominic Unterweger (27) – Dominic Unterweger is just 23 years old which means that the Austrian team in need of some young blood has some help on the horizon. This weekend were his 2nd and 3rd career World Cup races. He finished 33rd in the Sprint and 27th in the Pursuit. With just a one prior race this was not surprisingly his career best weekend.
Hanna Auchentaller (33) – Young Hanna Auchentaller had a very solid weekend in Antholz in front of her home fans. In just her 5th career race she had her 1st career top 40 after starting out the weekend with a 42nd in the Sprint.
Lena Repinc (45) – The 19 year old Slovenian set her career best in the Pursuit after most recently setting it at 48th in the Sprint. These were only her 3rd and 4th World Cup races of her career. Great all around weekend with certainly more to come.
Edgars Mise (47) – Edgars Mise is just 24 and represents a new generation of Latvian biathlon coming up. He qualified for his first career Pursuit race with a 47th place finish in the Sprint. He had great shooting in the Sprint which boosted him into the top 60!
Elia Zeni (51) – Elia Zeni makes this list not for his 53rd place in the Sprint of his 51st in the Pursuit. He’s here because of his awesome relay performance. Italy was 4th when he took over. He raced very well and was only overtaken by a very good leg from Sebastian Samuelsson. Italy had to be so proud of him out there!
Eungjung Ko (60) – It was the best ever finish for Ko and also she qualified for her first ever Pursuit! She didn’t end up racing it but still that’s a heck of an accomplishment.