Harmer wins title at third nomination

WODONGA biathlete Dyllan Harmer was named the 2012 Norske Skog Young Achiever of the Year at last night’s awards dinner at Albury’s Commercial Club.

It was a case of third time lucky for Harmer who’s been a young achiever nominee twice before.

Up against a strong field of nominees from a wide range of sports including pole vault, water-skiing, kayaking and equestrian, Harmer was deemed a worthy winner of the prestigious award that’s included the likes of basketballer Lauren Jackson and pole vaulter Emma George.

Harmer, 19, excelled at his European-dominated sport last season, being named the Australian men’s open champion and making his debut in the IBU Cup earlier this year.

His coach Toscha Stopar said he was still a small chance of competing in biathlon — a sport that combines cross-country skiing and .22 target shooting — at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Last night Harmer said it meant a lot to win the award.

“We were hopefully going for third time lucky and it paid off, it’s a really good feeling,” Harmer said.

“It’s really amazing to be one of these achievers, some of them have gone on to Commonwealth Games and further.

“Honestly I was thinking maybe I can win but hearing some of the things the other nominees had achieved I was starting to doubt it just with how well they’d all done and to come out and win it this year, I’m really, really happy with it.

“For now I’m going to go to Europe from November to March and I might stay longer it just depends how my racing goes.”

Harmer’s dedication to his sport is the main reason he’s continued to rise up the biathlon ranks.

Realising he needed to improve his skiing last year, Harmer worked so hard he qualified for the Australian Cross Country team.

Despite being based at Mt Hotham, Harmer spent the European winter in Obertilliach, Austria, where he based himself to compete in events such as the Austria, Alpen, Italia and Slovenia Cup.

Stopar said if her charge continued at his current rate of improvement the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea was a realistic target.

Harmer takes over the Border’s young achiever crown from motocross rider Kristy Gillespie.

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