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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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.

Alberta’s Scott Gow and B.C.’s Sarah Beaudry Sprint to Biathlon Gold at Canada Winter Games

HALIFAX—Alberta’s Scott Gow captured his second-consecutive gold medal at the Canada Winter Games while Sarah Beaudry, of British Columbia, sprinted to her first Games’ victory in the men’s and women’s action on Tuesday in Halifax.

The 20-year-old Gow stomped the field for the second-straight day to win the men’s 10-kilometre sprint. Battling wind gusts up to 60-kilometres/hour and blowing snow swirling over the Ski Martock layout, the Calgarian missed just two shots to post a time of 29 minutes, 2.4 seconds.

“The conditions were absolutely brutal today. You just had to wait the wind out on the range,” said Gow, whose Alberta teammates swept the podium for the second time in as many races at the Canada Games.

Aaron Gillmore fired into the silver medal position at 29:45.2, while Stuart Harden shot clean to follow up his opening-race silver on Sunday to post a bronze-medal winning time of 29:55.2.

“Heading into the Games, I was focused on the medals in every race. The goal now is definitely to win four golds,” said Gow. “I’ll have an advantage in the pursuit tomorrow and our team is looking good for the relay.”

Meanwhile Sarah Beaudry, of British Columbia, stormed onto the top of the podium in the women’s 7.5-kilometre sprint. Beaudry clocked a winning time of 22:36.9.

Beaudry held off a hard-charging Audrey Vaillancourt, of Quebec, who charged to hersecond podium finish of the Games by winning the silver at 23:27.8.

“It was so difficult in shooting today with the wind swirling,” said Vaillancourt. “The course was good, but it was challenging because it was icy in places. My focus was on the medals in each race. So far so good.”

Vaillancourt was sandwiched between two British Columbia athletes on the podium. Julian Ransom locked up the bronze after clocking-in at 23:53.3.

The biathlon events continue on Wednesday at Ski Martock with the pursuit 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, 29:02.4; 2. Aaron Gillmor, Alberta, 29:45.2; 3. Stuart Harden, Alberta, 29:55.2; 4. Vincent Blais, Quebec, 30:18.5; 5. Christian Gow, Alberta, 30:49.0

Top-Five Women’s Results:

1. Sarah Beaudry, British Columbia, 22:36.9; 2. Audrey Vaillancourt, Quebec, 23:27.8; 3. Julian Ransom, British Columbia, 23:53.3; 4. Emma Lunder, Alberta, 24:10.2; 5. Yolaine Oddou, Quebec, 24:35.2

Alberta’s Scott Gow and Quebec’s Audrey Vaillancourt Strike Gold in Biathlon at Canada Winter Games

HALIFAX—Alberta’s Scott Gow and Quebec’s Audrey Vaillancourt captured the first two gold medals of the biathlon competition at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Gow led a podium sweep by Alberta in the men’s 15-kilometre individual biathlon event. The Calgarian, who finished ninth at the World Junior Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic last week, led the nation’s top young biathletes around the Ski Martock layout, posting a time of 40 minutes 33.9 seconds.

“My goal was to come here and get on the podium every race so I am happy I was able to win today,” said Gow, who missed just two shots in his four rounds of shooting on a windy and chilly day on the range. “I felt good all day and it is nice to see three Alberta guys on the podium.”

Gow, who was Alberta’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremonies, was joined on the podium by fellow Calgarians Stuart Harden, and younger brother Christian in the silver and bronze medal positions respectively. All members of Canada’s Youth and Junior World Championship squad, the 16-year-old Harden missed just one shot on the range to finish with a time of 42:16.0, while the 17-year-old Gow locked up third spot with a time of 43:29.0.

“I would much rather have beaten him (Scott), but it is pretty cool to share the podium with my brother,” said Christian. “I have a few more races to try to get him, but I think the experience we all had last week at the World Juniors really helped us prepare for today and it is great to sweep the podium.”

While the Alberta men owned the men’s podium, it was the eastern blue and white team from Quebec that dominated the women’s 12.5-kilometre individual competition.

Audrey Vaillancourt stomped the field to win the women’s event with a time of 39:31.1. The 20-year-old Vaillancourt finished nearly three minutes ahead of her Quebec-based teammate who fired her way to the silver medal with a time of 42:15.0. Sarah Beaudry, of British Columbia, prevented a podium sweep by Quebec when she finished third at 45:31.8.

The individual event is the longest of the biathlon competitions. The individual puts an emphasis on shooting with athletes being charged a one-minute penalty for every missed shot.

The biathlon events continue on Tuesday with the sprint 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, 40:33.9; 2. Stuart Harden, Alberta, 42:16.0; 3. Christian Gow, Alberta, 43:29.0; 4. Samuel Laforest-Jean, Quebec, 46:00.4; 5. Aaron Neumann, British Columbia, 46:55.5.

Top-Five Women’s Results:

1. Audrey Vaillancourt, Quebec, 39:31.1; 2. Rose-Marie Cote, Quebec, 42:15.0; 3. Sarah Beaudry, British Columbia, 45:31.8; 4. Julia Ransom, British Columbia, 45:45.7; 5. Danielle Vrielink, Alberta, 46:04.2.