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Kenai biathlete makes World Cup debut

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: December 6
  • Published December 6

Travis Cooper of Kenai made his World Cup biathlon debut Thursday.

The 22-year-old finished 105th in a field of 109 in the men’s 20-kilometer individual race in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Cooper shot cleanly in the second of four shooting stages but missed two shots in each of the others for a total of six misses. Each miss adds one minute to a racer’s time.

Five-time Olympic champion Martin Fourcade of France won the season-opening race with clean shooting and a time of 47 minutes, 9.2 seconds. Cooper’s time, including the penalties, put him 10:02 behind Fourcade. The top American, Sean Doherty of New Hampshire, was 4:28 back in 59th place.

Cooper, a top high school skier at Kenai Central, picked up biathlon during his senior year when he joined the National Guard. He remains a member of the National Guard biathlon team and last spring was named to the U.S. biathlon team development squad.

At last month’s U.S. biathlon team trials in Utah, Cooper earned a spot on the season-opening World Cup team.

In Thursday’s 15K women’s race, Yuliia Dzhima of Ukraine claimed her first World Cup victory. Susan Dunklee of Vermont placed 11th to lead the Americans.

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