It has been a big weekend for Tim Burke, and he still has one race to go. Thursday’s second place followed by today’s third place finish at the Ostersund Biathlon World Cups combine to make Burke the only American to have captured 2 podium races at the same event. These were also the first (hopefully just the start!) podium finishes in Burke’s career. Burke admits that he is usually a better sprinter, but hopes that today’s successful distance race is an indication that he can be a more well-rounded racer.
Finishing close to “King of Biathlon” Ole Einer Bjorndallen, whose win today added to a total of 90 world cup victories, is no small feat. In a press conference Burke was humble in his accomplishment, telling reporters, “Today I’m thrilled to be on the podium with these two guys (Bjorndalen and Svendsen) – it’s a big honor for me.”
Burke is not about to let the hype reroute his race preparations, however. In a post-race interview Burke said he was “just taking it one race at a time” and “focusing on things we’re working on in practice.”
Tomorrow the third race of the weekend will commence in the late morning: a 4 x 7.5km relay
I read that it was windy – how did that affect the shooting?
Yes, we had very gusty wind on the range today and this made the shooting a bit more challenging. When I was shooting prone I had quite a bit of wind so I really had to take my time to hit each shot.
How were race and snow conditions?
The race conditions were once again very good. It warmed up quite a bit over the last two days so the the course was a bit harder and faster than on Thursday. Once again, our wax team did an awesome job and I had really good skis.
How were you able to process Thursday’s podium finish and deal with the press coverage, and keep a cool head going into today’s race? Did you feel any pressure?
I think I actually felt more relaxed. After my result on Thursday, it proved to me that anything is possible and this gave me a tremendous amount of confidence. I will say that I did not sleep so well Thursday night because I was so excited about the race. Going into today I was feeling pretty drained, but I was able to snap out of it once the race started. I don’t think I have really had enough time to process the last few days, but I hope to have that chance soon.
Will the U.S. have a team in the relay and will you compete in that event?
We will field a team with Lowell, Jay, Jeremy and myself.
What is your game plan after this weekend as far as resting, traveling, and preparing for the next races?
On Monday I will travel to Hochfilzen, Austria for the next World Cup. I hope to compete in three races there next week, so recovery will be super important for me between now and then!