It’s fair to say that last season wasn’t the greatest for Tomas Kaukenas. The Lithuanian biathlete from Ignalina didn’t manage to score a single point on the World Cup which means he never got inside the TOP 40 in any of the races. He’s not the only one you are thinking and that’s correct but it is not a true indication of his talents.
Tomas was born on the 1st of May 1990 and made his World Cup debut at age 18 in 2009. At only 25 he has been to 4 World Championships and also to the Olympics in Sochi. In fact he performed really well in Sochi and managed a trio of respectable results. He finished 47th in the Sprint and improved that to 40th in the Pursuit. It was in the the Individual that he produced his best result however finishing in 23rd place.
His personal best on the World Cup was a 22nd place finish in the Pursuit race in Kontiolahti in season 2013/14. That year he finished 58th in the Total Score with 62 points. Strangely enough that was exactly the same score as he got when finishing in 63rd position overall the year before. His personal best finish from the World Championships just happens to be a 22nd place in the Sprint from Nove Mesto in 2013.
So as you can see apart from being a numerical oddity he is also a very good biathlete which makes his performances last year a bit of an enigma. Lithuania is not one of the biggest biathlon nations and so therefore doesn’t have the money to compete with some of the other teams when trying to identify and bring through young talent. However they seem to have done that with Kaukenas and so hopefully last year was just a little slip from him and he will come back stronger next season.
With the addition of the Single Mixed Relay to the biathlon schedule hopefully he will have a chance to showcase his talents and maybe get a few points for the Lithuanian team. He has the skill to break into the TOP 20 if he can regain his form. If he can recreate his performances from 2013 and 2014 he will easily make the TOP 40 and maybe even score more than the 62 points he got in those 2 seasons!
You could also argue that the colour of last year’s Lithuanian ski suit may have mean that Tomas didn’t want to be seen and that could be the reason for his disappearance from the TOP 40 last season!! Joking aside it would be great to see him get back to his best as it’s always good to see biathletes from different countries doing well. Their neighbour’s Latvia have Andrejs Rastorgujevs to inspire them and it would be nice of Tomas could do the same sort of thing for Lithuania. Can he do that this coming season? Yes he Kau’KAN’as!!
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