Wanaka biathlete to race at junior world champs
Wanaka snowsports athlete Louis Jones, 16, is cutting a lonely path to glory across Europe in one of New Zealand’s smallest sports - biathlon.
While his mates are back at school this week, the year 13 Mt Aspiring College student is training and racing in Italy and Slovakia with the Australian biathlon team, coached by Luca Bormolini.
He will also have Australian support when he races the junior world championships this month in Italy before returning home in March.
Jones is one of the youngest competitors, so is competing for experience.
‘‘My big goal is to get a respectable finish position next year really,’’ he said.
New Zealand has just two cross country skiers competing internationally at the moment. The other is Jones’ fellow MAC student, Campbell Wright.
The Wanaka Biathlon Club was formed in 2009 and is not funded by SnowSports NZ
‘‘I was in Italy last season as well, with the same [Australian] team, so it’s good to have some familiar faces around. For me, there’s no problem being the only Kiwi. The Italian experience is probably more fun this way,’’ Jones said.
He was grateful for support from his parents, Jo and Scott Jones, and sponsor Rossignol.
Louis Jones in action in Italy.
Millbrook Resort near Queenstown will co-host the NZ Open.