Scott Gow posts Canada's best-ever finish in Olympic men's 20K biathlon

Scott Gow put up Canada's best-ever Olympic finish in the men's 20-kilometre individual biathlon on Tuesday at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre.

'Almost a perfect race,' Gow said after coming up 34 seconds shy of podium

Scott Gow of Team Canada shoots during the men's 20-kilometre individual race at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Tuesday. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/The Associated Press)

Scott Gow registered Canada's best-ever finish in the Olympic men's 20-kilometre individual biathlon on Tuesday at the National Biathlon Centre in Zhangjiakou, China.

The 31-year-old from Calgary skied to a fifth-place finish — just 34 seconds shy of a podium — improving on his 14th place from the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

"Almost a perfect race," Gow said, as he went 19-for-20 shooting. Each miss adds a one-minute penalty to his total time.

"I'm happy with how I managed the range and the wind conditions. Like I said, almost perfect."

Gow's fifth-place finish also ties Canada's best result in any Olympic men's biathlon event. Jean-Philippe Le Guellec finished in fifth in the 10-kilometre sprint at the 2014 Games in Sochi.

WATCH | Gow claims Canadian record finish:

Matthias Ahrens showed Scott Gow the ropes so he can climb on his own

1 year ago
Duration 2:13
Coach Matthias Ahrens has always appreciated that biathlete Scott Gow puts in the hard work. The effort has paid off, as Gow continues to see success on the international stage.

Gow also raced in the mixed relay race on Saturday, where Canada finished in 14th, and he will be return to action on Saturday in the 10-kilometre sprint.

"Two races now on this course, I think I have a really good understanding of how to race it, how it feels, and I can only get better going forward to the next races," Gow said.

"Today is our longest event, so get a good recovery tomorrow and the next day, and then I have to give it everything in the sprint race for a good pursuit qualification."

Gow's brother Christian finished in 24th place. Adam Runnalls, also from Calgary, finished in 33rd, and Jules Burnotte from Sherbrooke, Que., finished in 36th.

World Cup leader Fillon Maillet takes gold

Quentin Fillon Maillet of France won decisively, adding a gold medal to the silver he won in the mixed relay over the weekend.

Fillon Maillet has dominated the biathlon world lately. He's had 10 World Cup podium finishes this season — half being wins, making him the overall leader. Now he's also an Olympic champion. He missed two of 20 targets and finished the course in 48 minutes, 47.4 seconds.

"Maybe it looked easy but it was so hard today," Fillon Maillet said. "With two misses in the shooting I never expected the victory. Maybe the podium. It was amazing."

Anton Smolski of Belarus shot clean — hitting all 20 of his targets — and came in 14.8 seconds behind the Frenchman.

Defending individual Olympic champion Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway also missed two targets and took the bronze medal, 31.1 seconds behind Fillon Maillet. He had outsprinted the Frenchman in the mixed relay Saturday to secure the gold.

Boe and Russian skier Maxim Tsvetkov raced most of the course together, but Tsvetkov missed his very last shot and finished 34.9 seconds behind Fillon Maillet.

WATCH | Matthias Ahrens showed Scott Gow the ropes so he can climb on his own:


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.

With files from The Associated Press

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