CANMORE – While her results may not have been what she wanted, Mackenzie Turner came back to Canada from the junior world biathlon championships with great memories of having taken part in the event.
“I wouldn’t say I was happy with my overall results, I didn’t perform as well as I could have,” Ms. Turner told the Recorder on Monday from Canmore, Alberta. However, “the experience was amazing and I was very honoured to wear the Maple Leaf.”
“Yes, the competition was pretty tough,” acknowledged Ms. Turner, noting, “my top result was 70th.”
“This is the first time I have competed at this level. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to go World Juniors next year as I will be overage,” said Ms. Turner. “I have learned many things during these events and many little things that can be tweaked, and a few major things that I can work on for future success.”
Ms. Turner, of Ice Lake, had qualified to represent Team Canada at the Junior World Championship in Lenzerheide, Switzerland and International Biathlon Union (IBU) Cup 6 in Arber, Germany. She qualified by placing fourth overall in the team trials held in Canmore, December 12-15. Athletes from all over Canada were there competing for a spot on Team Canada. She had two good races that earned her a spot on Team Canada’s roster.
Mackenzie missed most of a year and a half competing and training due to a serious illness in 2018, but she came back much more determined, said her mother Heather. Mackenzie worked extremely hard the last year in her training and with her coach to come back fighting to gain this opportunity.
Mackenzie has lived in Canmore for two-and-a-half years with national level coaching and six days a week training to get her to the elite athlete level. She noted at the world competitions, “the weather was pretty warm, it would freeze at night but would get plenty above zero by the time my race would start, which would be around 2 pm, so the trails were sometimes soft but then icy in other sections. The venues were great and both had their own unique bits to them.”
“I think Canada did alright at the two competitions and people were happy with their effort,” said Ms. Turner. “My teammate got a personal best at the IBU Cup in Italy, with a 10th in the sprint and a 20th in the pursuit, so that was exciting.”
In the immediate future Ms. Turner said, “I will be just recovering and getting some training here in Canmore, then head to Quebec for the nationals the middle of March.”