Biathlon athlete Campbell Wright has recorded New Zealand’s best ever international biathlon result.
The 17-year-old from Hawea Flats placed 4th in the 7.5K sprint discipline at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
“I started off good, my legs felt pretty springy. In the shooting I only missed one shot so that was really good as well. On the last lap my legs started to pop and the last kilometre I just had to try bring it home without losing too much time,” said Wright.
The biathlon was contested at Les Tuffes in France with athletes required to ski three 2.5K loops. After the first and second loop the athletes shot at five targets, with a penalty awarded for each target missed.
Wright, the New Zealand Team flagbearer, collapsed over the finish line, exhausted after recording a time of 19:45.01s, just 21.3s behind race winner Zawpl Marcin from Poland.
“Crossing the finish line was a bit of relief, I was cracked at that point so it was time for a lie down, tools down.”
The 4th placing in a field of 99 athletes is a remarkable result for New Zealand, with the sport usually dominated by European countries.
“Everything went smoothly, the race flowed and there was really good New Zealand support. I’m really proud of how I raced today even though I didn’t medal.”
Earlier in the week Wright placed 6th in the 12.5K biathlon. He will compete in the cross country events next week.
Meanwhile New Zealand is guaranteed a medal in the 3x3 mixed nation ice hockey event with Katya Blong’s team through to the gold medal match.
The Aucklanders team won its semi-final 7-5 to book a place in tomorrows final. New Zealanders Axel Ruski-Jones (Queenstown) and Tallulah Bryant (Queenstown) will both play for bronze with their teams defeated in their respective semi-final matches.
The ice hockey athletes are playing in the mixed nation tournament being run at Lausanne 2020. The unique format sees eight teams made up of 13 athletes from 13 different countries. This means teammates have never played with each other before and often don’t even speak the same language.
At the Champery Curling Arena the New Zealand Curling Team suffered it’s first loss at Lausanne 2020.
Zoe Harman, Lucy Neilson, Hunter Walker and Will Becker (all from Maniototo) were defeated 9-7 by Great Britain in the final match of pool play.
Above: Zoe Harman
Despite the loss the New Zealanders still qualify for tomorrows quarter final with their opponent still to be determined.
On nearby Les Diablerets New Zealand’s alpine skiers were in action in the slalom.
Katie Crawford recorded a combined time of 1:52.06s to place 31st.
Harrison Messenger crashed out in his first run to record a DNF.
Winter Youth Olympic Games coverage is available on Sky Sport.