Oberhof, Germany. Under challenging conditions, with wind, light snow, and incoming fog, Bailey had his best shooting day of the season. His clean shooting made Bailey, in 46th place, the top finisher for the US Biathlon Team. He finished 2:20.1 behind Tomasz Sikora of Poland. Sikora also shot clean to win in 28:13.3. It took the perfect shooting to keep the Polish athlete ahead of the fast skis of Ole Einar Bjorndalen of Norway. Bjorndalen with three penalties, tried to bridge the gap to Sikora, but failed by 16.2 seconds. In addition, Bjorndalen displaced teammate Emil Hegle Svendsen from second to third place. Svendsen had two penalties, finishing just five-tenths of a second behind Bjorndalen.
Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, AK) matched Bailey in the prone stage and was about 14 seconds ahead of him before the standing stage. Unfortunately, Hakkinen recorded three penalties and fell back to finish 73rd, 3:39.7 back. Jeremy Teela (Anchorage, AK), with four penalties finished three places behind Hakkinen in 76th, 4:10.4 back.
Earlier in the day, in the Women’s 7.5K Sprint, Tora Berger of Norway again looked strong on both the shooting range and the tracks. The Norwegian shot clean on her way to a 23:58.2 victory, her second of the season. She finished 5.5 seconds ahead of Russian Svetlana Sleptsova, who had two penalties. The star of last year’s World Championships, Magdalena Neuner of Germany, who was ill earlier in the week, finished just 10.7 seconds back despite four penalties.
Tracy Barnes (Durango, CO) finished 68th, with two penalties, 3:56 back, while her sister Lanny finished 77th, with four penalties, 5:20 back.
The next competitions for the US Biathlon Team will be in the Men’s Relay at Ruhpolding, next Thursday.
Live streaming video coverage of Biathlon World Cup competitions for the remainder of the season, as well as archived highlights, is available by clicking the athlete photo at the top of the news column at www.usbiathlon.org .