Canada earns best-ever Olympic finish in men's 4x7.5km biathlon relay

Canada's men's 4x7.5km biathlon relay team earned the country's best-ever finish in the Olympic event on Tuesday. Scott Gow anchored the race for Canada, finishing one minute and 56.3 seconds behind the Norwegian team, who won their fifth biathlon gold medal of the Games.

Scott Gow goes perfect at shooting in anchor role, securing 6th-place finish

Canada's Christian Gow of shoots during men's biathlon 4x7.5km relay on Day 11 of 2022 Beijing Olympic Games at National Biathlon Centre in Zhangjiakou, China. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Canada's men's biathlon relay team earned the country's best-ever finish in the 4x7.5-kilometre Olympic event on Tuesday.

Scott Gow anchored the race for Canada, finishing one minute and 56.3 seconds behind the Norwegian team, who won their fifth biathlon gold medal of the Games.

"I think we can be pretty happy about what we did today," said Jules Burnotte, who raced the third leg of the relay.

"I think we showed getting sixth that we are one of the good nations in biathlon. Not every nation can do it. I think we've been able to figure it out in the last years and we could show it today."

Canada's best result in the event previously had been seventh place at the Sochi Games in 2014.

"I think it's a really good day for the team. We're sixth place at the Olympics, and it wasn't a perfect day," said Christian Gow, Scott's younger brother, who skied the second leg of the race.

"It's not like we got here because the stars aligned. This was just a very normal day for us, and there's things we could have done better. I'm really proud of this team and what we've accomplished already these Games. It's been huge for us."

Russian can't find his shot in wild finish

At the front of the race, Norway's Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen was locked into a battle for silver with France's Quentin Fillon Maillet, French and Germany's Philipp Nawrath going into the final lap — as Russia's Eduard Latypov held a comfortable lead.

But it wouldn't last.

Heading into the final shooting range, Latypov had a 59.3-second lead over the chasing pack. But the Russian couldn't find his shot, missing his first four targets and having to dip into his three spare rounds after finally making a shot on the fifth target.

He'd only mange to hit two more targets, needing to complete two penalty laps for the remaining targets on the board.

Meanwhile the chase group of Christiansen, Mailler and Nawrath caught up as a visibly-shaken Latypov tried to take his time and recompose himself to make a shot.

By the time it was all said and done, Christiansen had pulled off a one-minute and 20-second swing, and took the lead with a perfect standing round of shooting. France's Fillion Maillet was on his heels, but couldn't catch the Norwegian, winning silver.

Latypov left the shooting range 40.6 seconds behind Christiansen, winning the bronze.

'Giving it everything I possibly can'

Canada had been as far back as 11th after the first exchange between Adam Runnnalls and Christian Gow, but managed to get up to fifth in the second leg of the race.

Heading into the final leg, Burnotte handed the reigns to Scott Gow with Canada sitting in 10th. But the 31-year-old from Calgary was at the first range, shooting prone, to bump Canada up to eighth. And the two-time Olympic was perfect again at the second range, shooting standing, to move Canada into sixth.

"I've been anchoring every relay this year and I've had some difficulties with it," said Scott Gow, who last week earned Canada's best finish in the 20km biathlon race, placing fifth.

"I do feel like these guys put you in such a good position, and then there's the pressure to keep it. So today the only thing I was thinking about was to not think about that and trying to really focus on having a good ski race. Then on the last lap giving it everything I possibly can."

The team's last race will be the 15km mass start on Friday. The two Gow brothers and Burnotte qualified for the race, while Runnalls is a reserve competitor.


Nick Murray


Nick Murray is a CBC News reporter, based in Iqaluit since 2015. He specializes in investigative reporting and access to information legislation. A graduate from St. Thomas University's journalism program, he's also covered four Olympic Games as a senior writer with CBC Sports.

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