Sadness as Season Shuts in Siberia
Marcel LAPONDER is the only British athlete competing this week at Khanty-Mansiysk RUS in the final World Cup of the 2015 – 16 season. Sadly in the 10 km Sprint he finished in last place, shooting 3-0. Although France & Norway displayed a distinct World Champs hangover it was a different tale for Austria 1st & 3rd and Germany 2nd, 4th & 5th!
This may the last visit to Khanty-Mansiysk for some time, as the two-time host of the World Champs (2003 & 2011 – when Marcel qualified for the Pursuit) will be replaced on the WC circuit by Tyumen, some 700 km to the South towards Kazakhstan in 2017.
Thus a disappointing season is over for GBR with the Men finishing in 26th place in the WC Nations Cup. Even more sadly, this means that we have only one male start place in World Cup next season; this is the same as our women who were 27th. But Korea have shown, this season, that it is possible to climb back into the top 25 with only one start place, albeit they had more athletes qualified to start Relays than GBR. So, we know what we have to do!