CBC Sports - Thursday Dec. 12, 2013 13:49 ET

Canada's biathlon relay team surprises with 4th place at World Cup in France

Heinicke, Crawford, Imrie, Kocher produce best-ever Canadian result

Megan Heinicke of Prince George, B.C., has punched her ticket to Sochi, helping Canada to a 4th place finish at a World Cup biathlon relay in France. (Jeff Stokoe/Canadian Press)

What a way to create some buzz for one of Canada's lesser known sports. The Canadian women's biathlon relay team finished fourth in a World Cup event in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France on Thursday. 

The team of Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., Megan Imrie of Falcon Lake, Man., Megan Heinicke of Prince George, B.C., and Zina Kocher of Red Deer, Alta., earned Canada's best-ever result for a women's biathlon squad in the 4 x 6 km relay with a time of 1:08:03.6.

“I am so proud of these girls,” said the 27-year-old Imrie. “I have witnessed each and every one of them train through blood, sweat and tears to the breaking point. We are fit. We are hungry for results and this isn’t the last you have seen of us.”

Imrie and Crawford, who recently secured their individual spots for Sochi, have had an excellent start to the World Cup season.

“We've known this type of result is within our grasp for so long so it feels great to finally get it,” said Crawford. “Our whole support system has really helped us get here, coaches, wax techs and everyone behind us.”

Germany captured the gold with a time of 1:06:27.8. Ukraine won silver in 1:06:51.1, while Norway grabbed the bronze medal with a time of 1:06:51.6.

Relay competitors begin in a mass start and ski 2 km, shoot prone, ski a second 2 km leg, shoot standing and then the final 2 km before tagging off to the next team member.

The result also secured the 25-year-old Megan Heinicke’s ticket to Russia where she’ll now join Imrie, Crawford and the 31-year-old Zina Kocher on the women’s team.


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