Alberta’s biathlon women finished their 2019 Canada Winter Games like they started — sweeping the podium.
The powerhouse team took the top four spots in Thursday’s 10-km race, led by Calgary’s Jenna Sherrington, who added her third gold medal of the Games. Pascale Paradis, of Calgary, took the silver (two silver, one bronze, one gold) and Canmore’s Karly Coyne finished with a bronze (one bronze, one gold). Naomi Walch, of Calgary, finished fourth (one bronze, one gold).
On the men’s side, Canmore’s Haldan Borglum won bronze (one bronze, one silver) in the 12.5-km event.
Sherrington said she felt fast on her skis and the shooting went well.
“It all kind of came together really nicely today,” she said.
Sherrington was the gold medal winner in the first race of the Games — a podium sweep by the women — on an extremely cold Sunday.
“The conditions were a lot faster today. There was a little layer of snow on top, which made it a little more challenging.”
Sherrington said she had no specific medal target in mind before the Games began. “I just kind of went in with an open mind. I was just here to learn and experience the Games, which I did.”
Paradis said she couldn’t have asked for a better way for the team to end their competition.
“It feels great. It was just a really fun ending to a really great week.”
On Thursday, all of the women shot really well, so important on a flat course where there is not a lot of opportunity to make up time on other competitors, she said.
“When there are hills you can push more than other people and make time up. On a flat course, it’s a little more challenging.”
Paradis said the double podium sweep was not expected but was reachable given the calibre of the team.
“Alberta definitely has a super strong female biathlon team so it wasn’t a huge surprise,” said Paradis, who won silver in both podium sweeps.
Coyne was also happy with her race.
“I skied really fast today and I finally put the shooting together after a few races,” she said with a laugh.
For the men, Borglum said he felt really strong on his skis.
“I made sure I had really good mental focus for the shooting and managed to pull off 16 for 20,” said the athlete, who also picked up a silver in the men’s 3 X 7.5-km relay on Wednesday.
The week saw his skiing and shooting getting progressively better so he was pleased with how the week went.
Men’s winner Logan Pletz, of Regina, said his shooting was “definitely on point” on Thursday. “I was really worried about the standing shooting but today I managed to hit nine out of 10.
“That’s what I think kind of made the difference for me.”