Alberta and Quebec Sweep Podiums in Biathlon Pursuit Competitions at Canada Winter Games

Alberta's Scott Gow crosses the finish line first, capturing his third gold medal, in the 12.5 km pursuit race in biathlon at the 2011 Canada Games

HALIFAX—

Alberta’s Scott Gow made a clear statement he is the top young biathlete in the country after winning his third straight gold medal at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax on Wednesday.

Holding a marginal lead on the field in the men’s 12.5-kilometre pursuit competition at the start where athletes began the race in five-second intervals, the 20-year-old Gow never looked back. With the next generation of Canadian biathletes following his trail through the Ski Martock course, Gow stomped the field again to post a time of 32 minutes 41.8 seconds.

“I feel absolutely awesome,” said Gow following the awards presentation. “I shot a lot better than anyone else today and I felt as good or better than I have all week on my skis so it is a great day.”

The member of Canada’s development squad arrived to the Canada Winter Games from the Czech Republic where he led the red and white with a ninth-place finish at the Junior World Championships.

“I trained all year to peak at the World Championships and I have been able to maintain that level and carry it into this week,” said Gow. “We have one more race on Friday with the team relay and I think our team is looking good.”

That is an understatement.

Calgary’s Gow and his Alberta men’s teammates have been the story of the Games at the biathlon venue having swept the podium in each of the three individual competitions.

His kid-brother, Christian, fought his way onto the podium for the second time this week after winning his first silver medal with a time of 34:12.2. Calgary’s Stuart Harden, who had a silver and bronze medal heading into Wednesday’s action, captured another bronze after the 16-year-old punched the clock at 34:43.8.

Western Canadian athletes may have celebrated in the men’s race, but it was Quebec who took charge in the women’s 10-kilometre pursuit, snagging all three spots on the women’s podium.

Audrey Vaillancourt won her second gold, and third medal of the week, after crossing the line in top spot at 34:39.5.

“My goal was the medals in every race and I have done that,” said Vaillancourt. “The conditions are good, and it is a great course. I am happy with my results.”

Finishing well back of Vaillancourt, Quebec’s Yolaine Oddou won the silver medal with at time of 34:51.6. Rose-Marie Cote finished nearly 90 seconds off the leading pace to round out the women’s podium in third at 35:51.8.

The biathlon events wrap up on Friday at Ski Martock with the men’s and women’s relay competitions.

Biathlon Canada, the governing body for biathlon in the country, oversees the Canadian Championships, Eastern and Western Canadian Championships, and North American Cups held in Canada. The organization’s mandate is to provide national level programs for the continuous development of biathlon athletes from the grassroots to the elite level. For more information on Biathlon Canada, please visit their Web site at www.biathloncanada.ca on the Internet.

Complete Results: www.canadagames2011.ca

Top-Five Men’s Results:

1.Scott Gow, Alberta, 32:41.8; 2. Christian Gow, Alberta, 34:12.2; 3. Stuart Harden, Alberta, 34:43.8; 4. Aaron Neumann, British Columbia, 34:58.2; 5. Aaron Gillmor, Alberta, 35:03.0

Top-Five Women’s Results:

1. Audrey Vaillancourt, Quebec, 34:49.5; 2. Yolaine Oddou, Quebec, 34:51.6; 3. Rose-Marie Cote, Quebec, 35:51.8; 4. Julia Ransom, British Columbia, 36:27.5; 5. Sarah Beaudry, British Columbia, 37:33.2.

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