Australian title on the line for the best in biathlon In the national interest
MOUNT Hotham will again be biathlon central during August following on from a highly successful July, which saw the largest National Camp in more than a decade among a host of other events.
Biathlon Australia’s Emma Flanagan the Australian Biathlon Championships on the weekend of August 13 and 14 would be the upcoming highlight.
Biathlon is an Olympic sport that combines crosscountry skiing with rifle shooting.
This combination originated in Scandinavia, where skiing and rifle shooting remain an important part of military training.
“The Hotham Biathlon Arena is the only range in Australia and is located 3 km east of Hotham Village,” Flanagan said.
“It is part way through the 2016-2017 Development Project, which in the long term will increase the capacity to 15 lanes, and allow disabled access and international competitions.
“But for Winter 2016, there are only 11 lanes, which means that the Mass Start event planned for 13 August may need to be changed to an Individual (Distance) event.”
Australian Biathlon Chief of Race, Neil Richardson, is hoping that’s not the case.
“The mass start is a fantastic race, where everyone starts at the one time, we ran one at a championships event a couple of years ago,” he said.
“However, if by the close of registrations we have as many participants as predicted, we won’t have enough lanes for everyone to shoot at the one time.
“In that case, we’ll run an Individual race, which has an interval start, so we can leave plenty of time gaps between starters; this means there are no queues for people waiting to shoot.
“As problems go, worrying about having too many starters is a nice one to have”.
Also at Mount Hotham for the first two weeks of August is the Defence Nordic Biathlon Association, for the annual “Exercise Coolshot” event.
Some 80 defence force personnel are expected to take part in this event, with participants coming from as far away as Perth and Darwin to take part.
SHOOTING FOR GOLD: Great early season snow saw big turnouts for the biathlon national training camp at Whiskey Flat last month.