Tag Archives: Asian Games

Suzuki Swift!

suzuki

Don’t worry I am not a second hand car salesman tempting you to buy a car! No, it’s my post about Japanese biathlete Fuyuko Suzuki.Japan is probably not the first nation that you think of when it comes to biathlon but they have a long if not greatly successful tradition in the sport. They had 2 participants in Seefeld, Austria in the 1964 Olympic Games where there was only 1 biathlon event and have continued sending them to every Olympics since.

Their best ever result came unsurprisingly in their home Olympics in Nagano in 1998 when Ryoko Takahashi finished an amazing 6th in the 15km Women’s Individual. Another famous Japanese biathlete is Isa Hidenori who competed in 3 Olympics and his best result was a 10th place on the World Cup in Pokljuka in 2009/10.

Their current star Fuyuko was born in Akita, Japan on the 13th of January 1989. During high school she was a cross country skier and then chose to make the change to biathlon as she felt it would give her a better chance to succeed. She is currently in the Armed Forces and made her biathlon debut in Oberhof in 2009.

She made her Olympic debut for Japan in Vancouver 2010 at the age of 21. Her best performance was 44th in the Sprint. She also finished 54th in the Pursuit and the Individual. In Sochi she was 39th in the Sprint, 32nd in the Pursuit, 52nd in the 15km and 13th with her teammates in the Women’s relay. She also took part in the Asian Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2011 winning silver in the 15km Individual and she helped Japan to a team bronze in the relay.

Suzuki made some good progress last season as she achieved her career best result in Ruhpolding taking 13th place in the Individual. In fact her 3 best ever results have come in that event as she finished 18th, again in Ruhpolding 2011/12, and 19th in Oestersund in 2009/10. She also managed 4 Top 40 results last season which was an improvement from only 2 the year before.

So Fuyuko has a long summer to continue training and try and improve on her results from last year. One of her aims must be to break into the TOP 10 and the Individual event is probably her best chance to do this. She has always had good shooting statistics and this is shown in her results from the 15km where an accurate shot is of vital importance to avoid time penalties. If she can improve on her ski speed surely she will enjoy even better results by being a little more Suzuki Swift!

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Kazakhs-Yan Savitskiy!

yansavitskiy

Cleverly disguised as the German team last year (the ski suits were hard to distinguish) the Kazakhstan biathlon team enjoyed a pretty good season. One biathlete in particular achieved some of his best results ever. Yan Savitskiy was born in Ridder, Kazakhstan on April the 29th 1987 and achieved a career best result in the World Championships in Nove Mesto finishing 11th in the Individual.

Last season also saw him produce his best result on the World Cup finishing 16th in the Sprint in Anholtz. He followed that up with 3 further TOP 20 finishes and 2 in the TOP 30. He finished the season in 52nd place in the Total Score up 18 places from the previous year. He was 22nd overall in the Individual event which was his highest placing from all the different disciplines.

Yan is one of few biathletes who has already won a gold medal at a major games. He won relay gold in his home Asian Games in Almaty in 2011. Having already competed at the 2010 Vancouver Games this gives him some much needed experience in preparing for and competing in Sochi in February.Almaty is also bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and so they will be looking to all their winter sports stars to try and raise the profile of Kazakhstan as an Olympic venue. Any success their athletes provide is sure to help them in their campaign.

So what does this season hold for Yan? Well his results so far in the first third of the season have been nothing to write home about.He got a 30 second penalty in the Pursuit in Hochfilzen for starting outwith the 3 second interval but still recorded his top results so far finishing 51st in both the Sprint and Pursuit. Hopefully he is saving his best form for after the Christmas break! His best event from past results would seem to be the Individual and that is probably his best chance of achieving a TOP 10 result both on the World Cup and at the Olympics. It would be an amazing result for Kazakh biathlon and Yan himself if he could do it. It would also be a boost for Asian biathlon in general.

If anyone can pull this major achievement off it has to be Kazakhs-Yan Savitsky!

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