Having visited the beautiful Andalusian city of Granada, Spain it’s not the kind of place you would imagine as the home of a biathlete. But that’s exactly what it is. Granada is the home to Spain’s first Olympic biathlete Victoria Padial Hernandez. The 25 year old has been cross country skiing from a young age and took up the sport of biathlon in 2007.
In her first 3 years of competing she managed to qualify for the IBU Cup, the World Cup and also the Vancouver Olympic Games. A pretty meteoric rise considering that she has done it all with only the assistance of her coach, family and sponsors without any funding or help from Spain’s funding bodies. A common occurrence in fact from athletes who are not from traditional winter sports countries.
Despite this she has put in some very good performances on the World Cup. Her best result came in Sochi where she finished 40th in the Individual event – a good sign for the forthcoming Olympics. She also finished 44th in the Oberhof Sprint and 45th in the same event at the World Championships in Nove Mesto. A 47th in Holmenkollen and 49th in Oberhof were her best results in the Pursuit.
This summer seems to have gone well for Victoria as she achieved an excellent bronze medal in the Summer World Championships held in Italy. She finished a creditable 8th in the Sprint and turned that into 3rd in the Pursuit. Hopefully these results will translate onto the snow and she will be able to break in to the Top 40 on a regular basis.
Victoria had a pretty consistent season last year finishing regularly from around 40th to 60th position. She needs to improve on her standing shoot but she has plenty of time to do this and the more experience she gains through the World Cup and Olympics the better she will get. Her summer experience should help her in this and maybe the fact that this is an Olympic year. Seasons that contain an Olympic Games can often throw up some unusual results as the top athletes can take their eye of the ball a little to concentrate on the Games. If Padial can take advantage of this and continue her great progression we may see her in the Top 30 and she can show the Spanish authorities what they are missing.
For more information about Victoria in English and Spanish check out her website:
She has a calendar out now!
She is also on Facebook and Twitter and also has her own channel on Youtube! Where she gets time to train for biathlon with all these social media committments I do not know!;-)
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