Great Britain’s men’s biathlon team went from bad to worse in the E.ON IBU World Cup as they finished last in the key 4×7.5km relay.
Having finished second to last ahead of Lithuania in the fifth World Cup event in Germany, Great Britain travelled to Antholz-Anterselva in Italy with a point to prove. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to hide as Lithuania didn’t enter. Consequently, they were lapped in 24th place.
Britain’s hopes were as good as over as early as the first leg of the relay, when Kevin Kane uncharacteristically picked up a penalty in the standing position. His leg of 22:55 immediately put the team into last place, a whole three and a half minutes behind leaders Russia. The rest of the team – Lee-Steve Jackson, Marcel Laponder and Pete Beyer – remained penalty-free and picked up respectable leg times of their own but none were enough to ever take the British team from the bottom. Predictably, the gap from first place grew all the time until Beyer was lapped at least nine minutes behind.
Adele Walker was the one to kick up off the week’s biathlon action in the Women’s 7.5km sprint but came home 97th of 99 finishers with a time of 25:06.7 and four penalties. Kevin Kane followed shortly after with a performance that suggested little of what was to come in the relay. Finishing joint 63rd, Kane picked up no penalties at all, just two and a half minutes behind winner Anton Shipulin of Russia. Pete Beyer also took part in the race but, out of 101 finishers, saw his five penalties take him to 100th place.