At just 20 years old, Yukon biathlete Nadia Moser has qualified for her second International Biathlon Union (IBU) Cup team to represent Canada.
Although still considered a junior meaning she could still be competing at the junior level, Moser finished fifth overall in the Canadian Team Trials Nov. 7-10 in Canmore, Alt.
“It was pretty good overall for me, there were three different races and they took the best two out of three races so you can have one bad race, which I did,” Moser said.
The trials were held to determine the four members of the IBU World Cup team, the IBU Cup team – which is considered the second level – and the junior team.
With two spots already filled on the women’s World Cup team, the top two finishers in the trials would take the final two spots.
The next three finishers were guaranteed spots on the IBU Cup team for the first tour travelling to Lenzerheide, Switzerland and Obertilliach, Austria for two competitions in December.
Moser, who finished fifth overall, was the third and last automatic qualifier for the IBU Cup team with the fourth spot being a discretionary selection by Biathlon Canada’s High-Performance Working Group.
In only her sixth season in the sport, Moser moved to Alberta after finishing high school in Whitehorse to train regularly in Canmore.
Moser started the sport of biathlon at the age of 14 after cross-country skiing from a very early age. As she got older, Moser said a family friend, who knew she had shooting experience, recommended the sport of biathlon in order to not give up skiing.
“I was in junior rangers before so I knew I liked shooting and my mom didn’t want me to quit skiing so she said how about you try this,” Moser said. “I thought it sounded fun so I tried it and liked it and now here I am.”
Also competing against members of the USA National Team at the trials, Moser’s best race was the final of the three events in the 6.8-kilometre modified sprint. Moser finished fourth overall in the race in a time of 20:29.
Moser raced with Biathlon Yukon before moving to Canmore and competed for the Yukon in the 2015 Canada Winter Games. She took home three medals, one silver and two bronze.
There is a second IBU Cup tour in January and Canada’s representatives will depend on the results from the first tour.
With the 2018 Winter Olympics fast approaching, Moser said the team of four men, four women and one spare for each, will be announced in January after the early performances this season on the Cup tours.
Athletes with the best chances of making the team are the four competitors on the World Cup tour, Moser said, but that leaves one spot on the team for another member – likely on the IBU Cup tour.
“At this point, it would be a long shot for me,” she said. “But you never know, right.”