Another day, another great result for the US Biathlon Team. The World Championships in Summer Biathlon ended Sunday in Oberhof with the Pursuit competitions. Again, the US Team turned in a strong team performance.
The US men started the pursuit competition in strong position. Although the desired medal was again denied, the men nevertheless managed to prove that they are in good form entering the Olympic year.
Tim Burke started fourth, 23 seconds behind Saturday’s winner Christoph Stephan. While the Germans fought each other for the medals, Burke raced well, finsihing fifth overall. He struggled quite a bit on the range with five misses, but so did many others. “I know that I could have done better today. But I take these races as a good lesson” Burke stated after the race. “To be honest, although I am tired I’d prefer some more races. I feel that I’d need those to get in the flow at the shooting range. With that loud audience here and the strong competition it is a totally different shooting situation than during training. So I guess some more experiences like that would help me a lot on my way to the top!”
Burke finished 53.5 seconds behind winner Michael Roesch from Germany. Burke finished strong, passing the strong Croatian biathlete Jakov Fak on the last loop.
Jeremy Teela and Lowell Bailey almost crossed the finish line together, with a 6.3 seconds time gap between them. Teela finished twelfth with five misses, while Bailey had to go into the penalty loop six times. Both of them felt tired on the course after the long training weeks in Europe, but nevertheless were happy with Top 15 results. Teela also figured that he could have done a better job in pacing his race: “I started way too fast because I wanted to catch up to German Alexander Wolf who was just ahead of me. I killed myself on the first loop and I guess I should have started way slower.”
Jay Hakkinen moved up four places and finished 24th. Team Leader Bernd Eisenbichler was impressed by the overall team performance. “They all showed a stable line on both the shooting and the skiing. Now we know better where we stand in the international field and can continue with the detailed work in shooting. We have two months until the World Cup starts and that will be the main focus now. These two races really taught us a lot and it was a good thing to start here.”
With the conclusion of the World Championships, the team will stay one more week in Oberhof and use the opportunity to do some ski testing in the newly build ski hall in Oberhof.
Source: USBA – More information on the US Biathlon Team can be found at biathlon.teamusa.org.