Ruhpolding, Germany – Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) finished 11th in the 12.5K Pursuit yesterday in the German Rollerski Biathlon Championships.
Sunday was the second day of the weeklong series of competitions that visits three different venues across Germany. These annual Championships help determine spots on the German World Cup team for the coming winter. In addition to Burke, athletes from Switzerland, Canada, and Slovakia are competing this week.
The series kicked off Saturday with Individual competitions for both men and women. Burke, with 4 penalties, finished 14th in the opening 20K Individual, 4:27.1 behind Christoph Knie. Knie with one penalty won crossed the finish line in 35:20.6. Daniel Graf, with one penalty finished 36.1 seconds back, followed by Olympic Champion Michael Greis, also with two penalties, 49.4 seconds back.
After a clear, but cool day yesterday, the athletes competed in a light drizzle in Sunday’s 12.5K Pursuit. In the 20K, Burke cleaned the first prone stage, missed one shot in the next two stages, and then lost two more minutes with additional standing errors in the final stage. As in the 20K, Burke hit 9 of 10 of his prone shots in the Pursuit, adding a single standing miss in each of those stages. He finished 2:00.3 behind Christoph Stephan, who started tenth, but moved past better known competitors with a single penalty in the 20-shot competition. He finished in 34:15.2. Toni Lang, with three penalties, finished just 9/10 of second back. Daniel Graf slipped from second to third, finishing 14.9 seconds back with 3 penalties.
The competitions shift from the Ruhpolding’s Chiemgau Arena to the IBU Cup venue in Langdorf on Tuesday, then on to Oberhof for two final days next weekend in Oberhof. The Ruhpolding competitions attracted about 4,000 biathlon fans. Similar crowds are expected throughout the week.