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Biathlon provincials coming to WOP

Sports briefs: Junior lugers compete at worlds
ON TARGET The B.C. Biathlon championships will welcome over 100 competitors to Whistler Olympic Park on Feb. 13 and 14. Photo submitted

Some of British Columbia's best skiers and shooters will give it their best shot at Whistler Olympic Park this weekend.

The 2016 B.C. Biathlon Championships, hosted by Sea to Sky Nordics, will run events this Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 13 and 14) at the Callaghan Valley site. Sea to Sky Nordics chair Clayton Whitman expects an impressive turnout for the event, which will welcome competitors from Yukon and Washington State in addition to every reach of the province. Whitman said on Feb. 9 that 90 people were registered and he expects another 25 to sign up before the first shot is fired. Roughly 35 local athletes will be spread among the 16 different age categories.

"It's been a great snow year so the course and range are in great shape. There's plenty of snow for the event," he said.

In addition to crowning the best in the province, the competition is also a last-chance qualifier for next month's Canadian Biathlon Championships in Valcartier, Que. With an impressive venue, Whitman said, the stage is set for some drama.

"It's an Olympic legacy facility, so we've got a full 30-lane range, electronic targets and indoor facilities. It's one of the best facilities on the whole continent," he said. "It's a treat for people from smaller venues to come compete in Whistler here at an Olympic legacy facility."

Those who want to catch all the action will be welcome, as biathlon is impressive to watch up close.

"There are spots to watch close up to the range, so you can watch the shooting as well as the athletes skiing around," Whitman said. "There are spots for spectators to watch right up close to the action."

There is a $15 vehicle fee to enter the park, but no other cost associated with watching the competition.

The sprint events will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 13 while the pursuit events will go from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 14.

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Junior lugers compete at worlds

Calgary's Kyla Graham and Brooke Apshkrum led Canadian lugers at the FIL Junior World Championships in Winterberg, Germany on Feb. 6 and 7.

The pair finished sixth and seventh, respectively, after Germany's Julia Taubitz blazed to the win. Graham was 1.541 seconds back while Apshkrum was 1.59 seconds off the pace. Taubitz was 0.651 seconds ahead of Tina Muller and a full second up on Alisa Dengler as the Germans swept the podium.

Squamish's Nicky Klimchuk-Brown was the top male competitor, placing 12th, good for 1.109 seconds back of winner Roman Repilov of Russia. Latvia's Kristers Aparjods placed second, 0.148 seconds back and Germany's Maximilian Jung placed third, 0.153 seconds back. Whistler's Reid Watts placed 14th.

As for the doubles, the pair of Matt Riddle and Adam Shippit did not finish their run. Austrians David Trojer and Philip Knoll took the win, followed by Germans Manuel Stiebing and Florian Loffler, and Nico Semmler and Johannes Pfeiffer.

Canada did not place in the team event, as the Riddle/Shippit sled did not complete its run. Apshkrum and Klimchuk-Brown were tabbed for the two singles runs. Germany took the win, followed by the Americans and Austrians.