'Redemption' for Island biathlete

Jason Malloy
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Menno Arendz is going to Austria for the world biathlon competition.

Menno Arendz made good on his second try to make Team Canada’s biathlon team.

A year ago the 19-year-old Hartsville native was on the outside looking in after finishing fifth at the trials. The top four made the junior team for the world championships.

He finished third Tuesday in Canmore, Alta., to cash his ticket to Austria.

“It was amazing, just a tingling feeling through my whole body,” he said.

“A year later and I made my redemption. . . It was a great boost to finally make the team this year.”

Biathlon combines cross-country skiing with shooting.

“It was an amazing race for me. I skied unbelievably,” Arendz said. “I picked the right skis for the day.”

Athletes had to select what skis they were going to use for the competition on Monday.

“We have several sets of skis,” Arendz explained. “We test glide and feel, so how they actually feel like on the snow and what they feel like on the course.

“I had the right ski for the day, I think.”

There are many variables that go into selecting the skis, including the temperature, snow and amount of sunlight.

Arendz wasn’t the only Islander to make the national team.

Bedeque’s Carsen Campbell finished second in the youth category.

“The two P.E.I. athletes that were here qualified so we have the best percentage out of Canada,” Arendz said proudly. “I think that’s a great accomplishment for P.E.I.”

Arendz, who turns 20 on Sunday, started biathlon at 12 after being involved in the jackrabbit cross-country skiing program at Brookvale. From there he got involved in the biathlon through the cadet program.

Arendz will now turn his attention to preparing for the worlds, which will take place in Obertilliach, Austria from Jan. 23 to Feb. 1. He is leaving a week earlier a few other athletes to get over jet lag and get another week of training in.

“With some extra training before the event I think I could really shock some people,” he said.

Arendz said it was great to have his brother Mark, a Para-Nordic national team member, and his friends in Canmore to support him during the national qualifier.

Mark left Thursday for Cable, Wisconsin, where he is taking part in a World Cup event from Saturday to Jan. 20.

jmalloy@theguardian.pe.ca

Organizations: Team Canada, Brookvale

Geographic location: Canmore, Austria, Hartsville Canada Obertilliach Wisconsin

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