Léo Grandbois and Darya Sepandj qualified for the IBU World Youth And Junior Championships on Saturday.
They both won their respective Junior sprints at Biathlon Canada’s National Trials in Valcartier (QC).
Grandbois, from Sherbrooke (QC) kind of looks like an animal on skis, but with cool looks! Seek shelter when he comes out of the gate.
His shooting served him well in the second of the three qualifying races. He only missed a target in standing (0+1 for a 9/10). His skiing speed was also a factor as he won by 5.9 s over Thomas Hulsman (Alberta), an excellent shooter who shot clean.
“My lungs were clogged up in the first loop; I coughed a lot to clear them a bit, said the winner, who is recovering from bronchitis. My shooting played a big role today, I was in full control.
“I’m happy with the result although I would have liked to win with a bigger margin.”
Sergey Bochkarnikov (BC) also shot clean to take third place by 17 s in front of teammate Ryan Elden (0+2).
With Trevor Kiers and Adam Runnalls prequalified, one more spot for the Worlds will be determined Sunday with the Pursuit.
Sepandj can smile
There has been a healthy competition between favorites Darya Sepandj (Alberta) and Larissa Black (BC) this weekend.
After winning the first sprint on Thursday, Sapandj did it again on Saturday, even though she missed twice at the range (1+1).
She still managed to beat Black (0+1) by a mere 11.4 s. Black’s teammate Zoe Pekos (2+2) finished third.
Sepandj will now join Megan Bankes, Nadia Moser and Emily Dickson, prequalified. If Bankes was to decline to go the World Juniors and instead remain with Biathlon Canada’s World Cup team, another spot could become available, so it’s likely Sunday’s races will still be of critical importance for Black, Pekos and Anna Sellers (Alberta).
Competition seems to remain quite open in the Youth categories. Albertans Logan Lumby (Youth Men) and Pascale Paradis (Youth Women) were the winners of the day.