Most successful winter season ever for Australian Biathlon
Australian Biathlon Executive Officer/Chief of Race, Neil Richardson is delighted with the Australian Biathlon 2016 Winter Season at Mount Hotham VIC, site of the only biathlon range in Australia.
Highlights have included:
• Two oversubscribed Camps: a National Camp (for both High Performance and “Future Stars” participants) and a Masters Camp, with participants from several regions
• Defence Forces fortnight, including participants from Perth and Darwin
• Record race registrations for both the Victorian and Australian Championship weekends
• Awarding of two new Victorian Government grants, for development of High Performance athletes and provision of defibrillator equipment and training – thanks to the ongoing support of Victorian Sport & Recreation program grant.
• Continuing development of the Mount Hotham Range, as part of the 2016-2017 Shooting Sports Facilities Program
Mr Richardson advised that the 2016 Victorian Championships had the largest ever number of registrations, a total of 90, which rose to 120 for the 2016 Australian Championships. This is more than double the number of racers in 2014, and 40% higher than last year, which itself was a record year. Last weekend, racers took part in over 20 different age groups/categories, including Laser biathlon events for those aged Under 12. This year, Australian Biathlon was pleased to welcome participants who travelled from Canada, Italy, UK and USA.
At the Australian Biathlon Championships in the blue ribbon Open category results were as follows:
• Men: Damon Morton (20, Marlo VIC) repeated his 2014 and 2015 Australian Open Men wins, taking out both the Individual and Sprint titles; Damon’s father and 2006 Olympian Cameron Morton (42, Marlo VIC) placed second on both days, with Daniel Walker (22, Sydney NSW) finishing third on both days
• Women: Saturday’s Individual race was won by Sabrina Howell (19, Sydney NSW) followed by Jill Colebourn (21, Sydney NSW), with Irene Dunn (51, Adelaide SA) third. While on Sunday Colebourn won the Sprint title, followed by Howell and Dunn
“This winter has been a very, very busy season,” Mr Richardson said.
“The range has seen an enormous amount of use, participation has increased incredibly in the last few years. It’s a credit to all the work that has been put in by our dedicated volunteers not only during the winter, but also in planning and at our working bees. Our Easter 2016 Working Bee was the largest ever with some 50 volunteers and that ground work shows now in the quality of our winter snow cover. We are very pleased with the support that Hotham Resort Management continues to give us.”
In addition, Mr Richardson advises the annual pre-Northern Hemisphere Season Camp at Mt Hotham has been run successfully on 23/25 September. This is weekend that is preparation for events run by the International Biathlon Union and also the Winter University Games. The weekend also included several Under 12 kids who were very happy to participate in another Future Stars fun weekend with laser biathlon.