Aussies claim gold medals
BIATHLETES from across the state and the country hit Mt Hotham’s Whiskey Flat Range over two weekends at the end of July and midAugust for the Victorian and Australian Championships.
One of the biggest fields in years turned out for the Victorian Championships on July 25-26 with a nearly 40 athletes braving cold blustery wind and constant snow fall.
Included in the field were four athletes from Italy and Switzerland who have spent the winter training at Mt Hotham.
Despite the challenging conditions on both days there was plenty of good competition while all races were enjoyed by competitors.
Winner of the Men’s Open Individual on Saturday was Paolo Rodigari, he was joined on the podium by first placed Australian Damon Morton and another Italian in Emil Bormetti in third.
Winner of the Women’s Open Individual on Saturday was Jillian Colebourn, followed by Switzerland’s Laura Caduff and Camilla Bormolini of Italy.
On Sunday, the Men’s Open Sprint was won by Damon Morton, followed by Paolo Rodigari while Emil Bormetti claimed another third.
In the Women’s Sprint Laura Caduff improved on her performances from a day earlier by coming through in first, as did Camilla Bormolini in second while Jillian Colebourn rounded out the podium.
Unlike for the Victorian Championships Mother Nature put on glorious weekends weather for the national event with sunshine for much of the two days as well as perfect snow conditions.
The Australian Championships was also one of the largest and strongest fields assembled in a number of years with Australia’s best joined again by the Italian and Swiss athletes.
Three generations from Australian Biathlon’s founding families the Cranage and Cullen’s of Wodonga also took part.
All three claimed gold medals in Saturday’s Individual events with Bob Cranage winning the Veteran Class, daughter Lynn-Maree Cullen the Women Masters and her daughter Jorja Cullen the U13 Women.
Damon Morton won the Open Men Individual and was followed by Daniel Walker and Paolo Rodigari.
Third Australian was Dyllan Harmer.
The Open Women was dominated by the same three from the Victorian titles with Camilla Bormolini first, Laura Caduff, second and Jillian Colebourn third.
In Sunday’s sprints Damon Morton added a second gold with the win while Emil Bormetti placed second and Paolo Rodigari again third.
Second and third Australian’s were Daniel Walker and Dyllan Harmer.
The women’s podium in the sprints was the same as the day before with Camilla Bormolini claiming a second gold, Laura Caduff another second while Jillian Colebourn took bronze again.
FAMILY AFFAIR: Three generations of Australian biathletes took part in the National Championships in August (from left) Lynn-Maree Cullen, her daughter Jorja Cullen and Lynn-Maree’s father Bob Cranage. All three claimed gold medals in their races.