February 10, 2019 2:39 pm

Biathlon World Cup sprint races cancelled in Canmore due to frigid temperatures

Arctic temperatures in Alberta have forced organizers to cancel competition at the biathlon World Cup. Canada's Rosanna Crawford skis during World Cup biathlon women's short 12.5 km event in Canmore, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.

Jeff McIntosh, The Canadian Press
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Arctic temperatures in Alberta have forced organizers to cancel competition at the biathlon World Cup.

The sprint races had initially been postponed to Sunday, but the International Biathlon Union announced that both the men’s 10 kilometre and the women’s 7.5 km events had been cancelled due to the frigid -20 C temperatures in Canmore.

READ MORE: Bitter cold throws a wrench in World Cup biathlon in Canmore


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The cold had been wreaking havoc on the World Cup event since Friday, with races being rescheduled and shortened.

Biathletes were racing Friday’s relays with covered faces, or at least with tape covering their noses and cheeks. Norwegian competitors commented after winning the relay race that wind chills ranging around -25 made it difficult to handle the extra three rounds of ammunition they carry.

READ MORE: Most of Alberta won’t break free from Mother Nature’s icy grip this weekend

The mass start races had been shortened from 15 km to 10 km for the men and 12.5 km to 7.5 km for the women before they were cancelled.

Nearly all of Alberta, apart from the far northwest, was under an extreme cold warning on Sunday afternoon. Much of the province has experienced a more than week-long cold snap.

Watch below: Global News coverage of the extreme cold snap in Alberta over the past week 

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© 2019 The Canadian Press

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