KHANTY-MANSIYSK, Russia – In his second to last race of the season, Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) came back strong with an 11th place in the 10k Sprint competition in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. With one of the fastest times on skis today, Burke finished his race in 25:07.8 minutes, 43.5 seconds behind today’s winner Ivan Tcherezov (RUS) who cleaned both shooting stages. Following penalties in both prone and standing, Burke had to ski an extra 300m.
“His skiing was really strong today, I am really satisfied. The conditions here are hard to ski; the snow is really hard and sticky. The wax technicians did a great job and made Tim’s skis competitive”, said U.S. Head Coach Per Nilsson after the sprint race.
“Today was one of my best skiing races ever. It’s quite surprising since at the end of the season the form can be up and down every day. But today it just worked. I had great skis and it was way more fun to compete today than over the last weeks,” said Burke.
The skis played an important part in Burke’s race today. “The technicians really worked hard over the last few days because we experienced a lot of problems here over the last few years. Next year the World Championships will be held in Russia so they did a lot of extra testing”, Burke explained.
Burke currently ranks in 14th place in the Overall World Cup, the competitors behind him will not be able to pass him in tomorrow’s Mass Start. With eleven points safe, thanks to his qualification for tomorrow’s Mass Start, Burke will climb up to 11th place in the ranking.
“I am super motivated for tomorrow’s race. A lot of guys are just really tired but I am in great shape, so I am ready to fight anyone,” said Burke.
Nilsson is also optimistic about Burke’s race tomorrow. “He is much calmer now after today’s race and the good skiing. It’s a good opportunity to show a last good race. It will be a lot of stress and pressure for the athletes in the front of the World Cup ranking to stay in their position, but Tim can be calm and relaxed so that a Top 6 would be possible.”
Saturday’s Mass Start will begin at 9:15am (EST). Watch World Cup racing from Khanty-Mansiysk live, online at http://tiny.cc/u96nv. Please visit www.biathlonworld3.de/en/ for a complete schedule and race results.