Alberta and Quebec Win Men’s and Women’s Biathlon Relays at Canada Winter Games

HALIFAX—Scott Gow put his name in the Canada Winter Games history books as the first athlete ever to win four gold medals while leading Alberta to the top of the podium in the men’s 3×7.5-kilometre relay on Friday in Halifax.

The 20-year-old Gow, who stomped the field in each of the first three individual competitions, needed his best performance to secure his place in history. Gow took a marginal lead out on the Ski Martock course after his Calgary-based teammates, Stuart Harden and Aaron Gillmor, fought off a Quebec team determined to prevent an Alberta sweep of the medals this week.

Gow was first to enter the range, but missed two shots in prone position, while Quebec ace – Vincent Blais – shot clean. With Gow heading to ski two penalty loops, Blais took over the lead until he made a costly error entering the wrong shooting lane in his second trip to the range. Gow capitalized, shot clean in standing, and darted out on his final trip around the 2.5-kilometre track to complete the Alberta sweep of all 10 medals in men’s competition with a time of 59 minutes, 33.0 seconds.

“That was definitely interesting. The fun didn’t last long and that became serious pretty quick,” said Gow, who recently finished ninth at the World Junior Biathlon Championships last week. “This was a great week. To be able to sweep the medals and then get to the top of the podium with each of my teammates together on the final day is awesome.”

Quebec held on for the silver medal after clocking-in at 1:00:01.4, while British Columbia won the race for the bronze after posting a time of 1:04:48.7.

While Gow and Alberta swept the medal podium all week in men’s racing, Quebec athletes captured their fourth gold medal of the week. The relay trio of Audrey Vaillancourt, Yolaine Oddou and Rose-Marie Cote teamed up to handily win the women’s 3×6-kilometre relay with a time of 1:01:22.00.

Alberta’s women’s athletes reached the podium for the first time this week, finishing second at 1:04:53.1. British Columbia won the race for the bronze, crossing the finish line at 1:05:34.8.

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. Alberta, 59:33.0; 2. Ontario, 1:00:01.4; 3. British Columbia, 1:04:48.7; 4. Ontario, 1:08:20.4; 5. P.E.I., 1:09:29.3.

Top-Five Women’s Results:

1. Quebec, 1:01:20.0; 2. Alberta, 1:04:53.1; 3. British Columbia, 1:05:34.8; 4. Ontario, 1:09:20.21; 5. Manitoba, 1:13:11.8.

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