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Aussie biathletes aim high in Sapporo

23 February 2017

BIATHLON: With their first race under their belts, Australia’s biathletes are looking forward to improving performances at the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games.

Competing in the men’s 10 kilometre sprint, Damon Morton finished 13th out of the field of 24, crossing the line in a time of 29 minutes and 21 seconds. Morton had a total of two shooting penalties, one from each round.

“One-one is minimum you can miss to do a good result,” Damon said.

The 20-year-old said conditions were favourable but rain caused a few problems.

“The snow wasn’t too bad because it is hard packed and glazed but it was drizzling, so you can’t see after a while through your glasses, it made everything wet and sweaty,” he said.

Fellow Aussie Jeremy Flanagan finished 18th and described the course as the toughest he’s ever experienced.

“Normally the hills are undulating and they don’t last that long but I think it was a three or four minute hill at the back of the 3.3 kilometre loop and usually we go maximum one minute (uphill), so you just had to hold on as long as you could and keep pushing up the hill,” Flanagan said.

The 21-year-old gave it everything physically and only incurred one penalty in the shooting.

“I did vomit at the end so I guess I pushed myself.

“My shooting was pretty good because it’s been a bit sporadic this season so I’m pretty happy with zero and one. I know where I made that one mistake, I was just too early.

“With the skiing, maybe I went too fast on the first lap but I think it was good for me to hold on for the whole time and really kill myself. I’m really happy that I got a pretty good start to the week, I’ve got stuff to build on.”

In the women’s 7.5km sprint, Youth Olympic Games representative Darice Morton finished 17th in a time of 25 minutes and 37 seconds.

Morton had three shooting penalties in the first round and one in the second.

“My shooting was the part that let me down so I’m aiming for a better result in the next race,” Darcie said.

“Conditions were pretty good, the tracks were fast and my skis were good.”

Jill Colebourne finished in 18th position, crossing the line in a time of 25 minutes and 56 seconds.

Colebourne was feeling disappointed after having two shooting penalties in each round.

“I was trying out some new things with the shooting, trying to shoot faster, I usually shoot quite slow” Colebourne said.

“I think I shot much faster than I normally do. This is my first time trying it out in a race so considering that I’m pretty pleased with the race but I could have done better.

“I skied pretty fast and I skied better than I thought I was considering it was a pretty difficult track."

Michelle Cook

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