RacingWorld CupHakkinen Finishes 24th in Biathlon Sprint

FasterSkier FasterSkierDecember 7, 2008

Ostersund, Sweden December 6. Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, AK) scored his first World Cup points of the season yesterday with 24th place in the 10K Sprint.

The men had much better conditions than they faced on Wednesday evening. Snow fell lightly today, but not at the rate of Wednesday, when over 30 cm fell before and during the competition. With light winds and the stadium blanketed in artificial light, shooting conditions were excellent. Hakkinen shot clean in prone, with a single standing penalty today. He finished 1:21.5 behind Norway’s Emile Hegle Svendsen. Norway had four finishers in the top 11 finishers (Svendsen, Bjorndalen 4th, Hafsas 6th, and Hanevold 11th. Tomasz Sikora of Poland finished second with one penalty, 12.7 seconds back, followed by clean-shooting Simon Fourcade of France, 28.1 seconds back.

US Biathlon Coach Per Nilsson called Hakkinen’s shooting performance, “very calm. He took his time in both prone and standing.” As in the 20K, Hakkinen skied well again, but he shot much better today as opposed to his 15-of-20 shooting on Wednesday evening.

Jeremy Teela (Anchorage, AK) had his best day in several seasons, finishing 49th with two penalties. This was a big improvement over his disappointing start in the 20K (94th, eight penalties). At the finish, he commented, “I went out pretty hard (top 10 first loop time) although I knew I could not hold it. In prone where I missed two, I was lost, so I started to shoot high after the first two misses. Then in standing, I was a little conservative and cleaned, I am happy with the results today, but I really did not feel so good physically.”

Alaskans Hakkinen and Teela will be the only US men in the tomorrow’s Pursuit competition.

Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) finished 69th , with three penalties, all in standing, while Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) with one prone and two standing penalties finished 81st. they were 2:25 and 2:48.3 back. Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME), also with three penalties finished 102nd, 3:50.2 back.

The snow continued to fall in the afternoon and picked up during the Women’s 7.5K. Haley Johnson (Lake Placid, NY) was the first US finisher and the only qualifier for Sunday’s 10K Pursuit competition. Johnson finished 56th with one penalty, 2:20.3 behind the winner Chumli Wang of China. Wang, finishing in 22:40.1, was a surprise victor, with a previous best of 13th place in the Sprint at the World Championships here last February. Tora Berger of Norway and Magdalena Neuner of Germany followed. Both shot clean, missing the top spot by 1.4 and 4.8 seconds respectively.

Laura Spector (Lenox, MA), in 93rd place, with two penalties, 4:12.9 back, was the second US finisher. Tracy and Lanny Barnes (Durango, CO), followed in 93rd 4:22 back, and 102nd place, 5:59.5 back. Tracy had two penalties, while Lanny had five.

The Pursuit competitions on Sunday start at 11 AM CET (5 AM EST).

Watch live results and streaming video of all competitions at www.biathlonworld.com.

The US Biathlon website has an RSS feed, available by clicking the RSS logo at http://www.usbiathlon.org to get the address and all of the latest biathlon news.

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