Ostersund, Sweden, August 29. Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) finished fourth in the 12K Rollerski race today, the first of three days of competition here for the US Biathlon Team.
Bailey finished 58.2 seconds behind Mattias Nilsson of Sweden. Nilsson, one of Sweden’s top biathletes covered the rolling 12K course at the Ostersund Ski Stadium 29:34.1. Jorgen Brink and Magnus Jonsson, both of Sweden followed Nilsson, finishing 30.7 and 55.7 seconds back respectively.
Top US Biathlete Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) finished fifth, 1:24.3 back. Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME), in his first year senior on the National A Team, finished 10th, 1:50 back.
In the Women’s 7.5K race, Haley Johnson (Lake Placid, NY) finished fifth, 1:40.4 behind Sofia Domeij of Sweden. Domeij, formerly one of Sweden’s best cross-country skiers, who is now a full-time biathlete crossed the finish line in 22:43.9.Helena Jonsson and Anna Maria Nilsson (sister of Mattias), finished second and third, 21.5 and 27.5 seconds back.
US Biathlon Coach Per Nilsson commented on today’s’ races and the team’s ongoing training camp. â€œI was pleased with the races today. Everyone used the same rollerskis and they are different from what we have used previously. It is a bit like the lottery, not knowing exactly how each pair matches up. Still, everyone did well. We will get a better feeling for how we compare to previous years and the other teams in the next two days of biathlon competitions.â€
He continued, â€œOur training camp and testing have gone very well over the past 10 days. It has been a little cold, with some temperatures as low as 7 degrees Celsius, but that has not been a problem. In our testing, we used some new protocols this year that gave us some more specific results. Everyone either equaled or exceeded their previous test results, so I feel good about where our training is at this point.â€
Competitions continue in Ostersund with Biathlon Rollerski Sprints on Saturday, followed by Biathlon Rollerski Pursuit on Sunday.
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