Ostersund, Sweden, August 30. Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) claimed victory today over a strong field in the 10K Sprint at the 3rd IBU International Rollerski Biathlon Cup of the summer here today.
Teams competing this weekend include the USA, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and Great Britain.
Burke, with one prone penalty while shooting clean in standing, finished in 25:20.9, just 4.3 seconds ahead of Marek Matiasko of Slovakia, who shot clean. Third went to Magnus Jonsson of Sweden, 16 seconds back with three penalties, all in the standing stage.
In today’s competition, Burke drew the exact same pair of rollerskis he used in yesterday’s 12K cross-country race, where he finished fifth. US Biathlon Coach Per Nilsson commented, â€œEven with the same skis, which do not seem so fast, Tim skied better today. He was even joking before the start with one of the organizers about drawing the same skis from the pool today. Nevertheless, Tim was strong today. He shot very smart, especially on standing. He took each shot individually and cleaned. Even though he spent 40 seconds to shoot, I told him that his shooting was perfect for the unpredictable wind conditions. The wind seemed to change directions with each shot.â€
Nilsson also praised Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY), who finished eighth, with four penalties, 59.3 seconds behind Burke. â€œLowell looks great in his skiing. Considering each penalty loop takes about 22 seconds, he skied very well. Since he is only 59 seconds back Lowell is in a good position for the Pursuit.â€ Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME), with four prone penalties, finished 19th, 3:26.5 back. After the four prone misses, Currier rebounded to shoot clean in the standing stage.
Haley Johnson (Lake Placid, NY), with three penalties, finished fifth in the Women’s 7.5K, 1:27.1 behind Jenny Jonsson of Sweden. Jonsson, with clean shooting, won in 25:55.9. Sweden dominated the podium positions, with Helena Jonsson in second, 30.5 seconds back and Anna Maria Nilsson in third, 44.1 seconds back. Jonsson and Nilsson each had four penalties. Laura Spector (Lenox, MA), with five penalties, finished ninth, 3:51.2 back.
US Coach Nilsson added, â€œOverall, I am satisfied with everyone today. We trained a lot of hours this week, including a three-hour run just a couple of days ago and the race last night. (The cross-country races started at 5 PM with today’s starting at 11 AM). Therefore, no one is particularly fresh. This shows how strong everyone is right now. We are not particularly sharp right now, but we are in a good place for late August.â€
The Pursuit competitions conclude the weekend of races on Sunday.
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