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Anxious wait for biathletes with Innsbruck dream

15 August 2011

The nominee to represent Australia in biathlon at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games is still too close to announce, even after the conclusion of the selection racing on the weekend at Whiskey Flat in Mount Hotham.

Athletes have raced four times over two weekends with a competitors’ worst result being dropped. It is a complex ranking system as the percentage advantage of each win and place is taken into account rather than straight places.

On Sunday, Daniel Walker was taking out the final race over the Sprint distance in the snow as 85,000 people were running through his suburb of North Bondi in the City to Surf. He also won the first Distance event of the series back on the 30th of July but his other two races were slightly off the pace leaving for an anxious wait.

Alexander Lewis, also from Sydney was very consistent. In the first weekend he placed second in both races and on Saturday won the Distance race. The athlete who works as a cross country ski instructor in the school holidays to help fund his sporting aspirations is fortunate to be able to drop his weaker race on Sunday.

The Race Committee is reviewing results before providing to the General Committee of the Australian Biathlon Association (ABA) for approval. Once this procedure has concludd by the ABA a nomination will be made to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) before selection takes place.

2010 Vancouver Olympian Alex Almoukov qualified the spot for Australia with his international results for the 2010/11 World Cup Series. Competition at Innsbruck 2012 for biathlon is limited to athletes born in 1994 and 1995.

Australia hopes to send a team of 16 athletes from 11 disciplines to Innsbruck 2012. The Australian Olympic Committee will announce the selected members of the team over the coming months. Over 1000 of the world's best 15-18 year-old competitors will come together for the Winter Youth Olympics from 13-22 January, 2012.

Dual Olympic medallist Alisa Camplin will lead the Team as Chef de Mission and 2010 Vancouver Olympian Ramone Cooper has been appointed Young Ambassador.

Andrew Reid
AOC

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