There are over a billion people in China. One of them is a biathlete. Chaoqing Song is China’s best female biathlete making her one in a billion! OK so I exaggerate there is in fact more than one Chinese biathlete but it sounded good, didn’t it! It’s fair to say that biathlon is not a popular sport in China but it has still managed to produce some really good biathletes.
Chaoqing Song was born on the 21st of March 1991 and has been competing in biathlon since 2005. She has had an inconsistent sort of career on the World Cup so far. Her best ever result came in season 2009/10 where she finished an excellent 5th in the Oestersund Sprint race. In fact that season was fantastic for Song as she managed to finish eight times in the TOP 25 and meant that she finished 34th in the Total Score that season. A quite incredible result for an 18 year old as she was at the time.
That was not her only success that year however. In February 2009 she won gold at the Winter Universiade at home in China. She crossed the line first in the Women’s Mass Start to win China’s first ever Winter Universiade biathlon gold medal beating some very good Russian biathletes along the way.
Since then however Song has lost her way a little. She has competed in 2 Olympic Games for China with her best result coming back in Vancouver, a 32nd place finish in the Sprint. Last season however she showed glimpses of her old self. She came in 10th in the Antholz Pursuit race which was her highest place finish since that 5th place in Oestersund 2009. She made up an amazing 20 places starting from 30th and shooting clean to take 10th beating the likes of Bescond, Wierer, Brunet and Flatland to name but a few.
She has fluctuated between the World Cup and the IBU Cup for a few seasons now but hopefully that result from Antholz can boost her confidence and help her to improve her performances for next season. She has proven that she is a good biathlete and has achieved some positive results. She just needs to add some consistency because she can shoot really well when she is in the mood.
China also have some other strong female biathletes coming through the ranks, like Zhang Yan, Tang Jialin (who just won 2 bronze medals in the Summer Championships in Tyumen) and Song Na who all went to Sochi, which can help to push Chaoqing to up her game. I would love to see her in the TOP 10 again next season and back in the TOP 40 more often as it would be a great boost for her and for biathlon in China. Let’s hope that Chaoqing is back on SONG soon!
Follow @biathlon23 on Twitter! Like biathlon23 on Facebook!