After back-to-back podiums, Canadian biathletes are looking to make their mark once again at the IBU World Championships, beginning February 9 in Hochfilzen, Austria.

Starting on the one-year countdown to PyeongChang 2018, it makes the Canadian team extra excited for the worlds to get underway.

Made it to #Hochfilzen! It is #worldchampionship time 😀 #GoCanada #biathlon #canadianstyle

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But a key figure in the recent success won’t be competing. Nathan Smith has missed most of the season due to a virus that brought on fatigue and a drain of energy. In 2015 he became the first Canadian male biathlete to win a world championship medal. One year later in Oslo, Norway, Smith and teammates Christian Gow, Scott Gow and Brendan Green seized the bronze medal in the men’s 4 x 7.5km relay.

Canada's men's 4x7.5 relay team after winning bronze the IBU World Championships in Oslo on March 12, 2016. (Fredrik Varfjell/NTB scanpix via AP)

Canada’s men’s 4×7.5 relay team after winning bronze the IBU World Championships in Oslo on March 12, 2016. (Fredrik Varfjell/NTB scanpix via AP)

Without Smith, who hopes to return to competition at the World Cup that will double as the test event of the 2018 Olympic venue at the end of February, Macx Davies will join Green and the Gow brothers in Hochfilzen.

On the women’s team, Rosanna Crawford is looking to improve on her two top-15 finishes from the 2016 World Championships. Crawford and teammates Megan Tandy, Emma Lunder and Julia Ransom are on the right track heading into the worlds after placing 10th in the 4 x 6km relay at the World Cup in Ruhpolding, Germany in January.