BiathlonCanadian National Ski TeamNewsRacingUS BiathlonUS Ski TeamWorld CupSunday Rundown: World Champs Silver for Dunklee, Bailey 6th in Hochfilzen (Updated x2)

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 19, 2017
Susan Dunklee (US Biathlon) celebrating second place in the women’s 12.5 k mass start on the final day of 2017 IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria. It was her first World Championships medal. (Photo: US Biathlon/Twitter)

IBU World Championships (Hochfilzen, Austria): Women’s & men’s mass starts

Silver medal for Susan Dunklee. That’s the big news coming out of Hochfilzen, Austria, on the final day of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Championships after the American finished second, just 4.6 seconds out of first, in the women’s 12.5-kilometer mass start.

Dunklee started in bib 17 in the mass start and cleaned all 20 targets to put herself in the hunt for gold. She finished just behind Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier who took the win in 33:13.8 minutes, also with perfect shooting. Just three out of 30 women cleaned, with the other being Italy’s Alexia Runggaldier in ninth.

“I think my mistake a lot this season has been wanting the results too much,” Dunklee told FasterSkier after. “[I’ve been] slowly been coming to terms these last couple weeks, trying to focus more on the process and not worrying too much if the medal comes or not so that was a big trick today.”

Finland’s Kaisa Mäkäräinen reached the podium with a since miss in the first prone stage in third (+20.1). The U.S. had two women in the mass start, with Clare Egan finishing 24th (+3:04.1) with four penalties (1+0+1+2).

Lowell Bailey (US Biathlon) taking aim during the second prone stage of the men’s 15 k mass start on the last day of IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria. He cleaned all four stages to fight for the medals until the final loop, and ultimately finished sixth. (Photo: ARD broadcast screenshot)

[UPDATED] In the men’s 15 k mass start that followed, Lowell Bailey was in contention for a medal until the very end, after being one of three athletes to clean the four-stage race.

Bailey left the range for the last time in third, 16.8 seconds behind Austria’s Simon Eder in first and 14.5 seconds behind Germany’s Simon Schempp in second (both Eder and Schempp also cleaned every stage). Behind Bailey, Johannes Thingnes Bø had recovered quickly from a penalty on the last stage, and left the range in fourth, 8.4 seconds behind Bailey.

Early on the final loop, Bø caught Bailey to fight for a medal. Bø didn’t stop there, catching up to Eder as well after Schempp dropped the Austrian around 13.6 k. With about a kilometer remaining, Bø passed Eder and stayed ahead of him for silver, crossing 9 seconds after Schempp in first and 1.1 seconds ahead of Eder — who notched his first World Championships medal — in third.

Schempp hit all of his targets for his first individual World Championships gold in the final race of the championships, finishing in 35:38.3. Bø and Eder shared the podium with him, and Russia’s Anton Shipulin and France’s Martin Fourcade passed Bailey on the last loop for fifth (+25.3) and sixth (+31.3), respectively. Bailey finished sixth (+33.5) for his fourth top six (in as many individual races) at the championships, after notching a gold medal in the 20 k, fourth place in the sprint and sixth in the pursuit.

“I just told myself to hang as long as I could,” Bailey told FasterSkier after. “Unfortunately I only had four laps and the fifth was bru-tal as they say in Germany. But I’m so psyched with this whole world champs. I never cleaned a mass start and I never cleaned an individual and I just did both at world champs.

“I’m so happy for the team, for Susan,” he added. “Our whole team deserves this world champs. We haven’t shown what we’re capable of, there’s always been one setback or another … and the stars aligned for this one. We were waiting for this moment and everything clicked for the team and it’s so great to see, and god am I glad I stuck around to be here.”

Results: Women | Men

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FIS Cross-Country World Cup (Otepää, Estonia): 10/15 k classic

The women’s 10 k classic podium at the Otepaa World Cup on Sunday in Estonia, with Norwegian winner Marit Bjørgen (c), Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla (l) in second and Norway’s Heidi Weng (r) in third. (Photo: Gro Eide/FIS Cross Country Twitter)

Remember the days when Marit Bjørgen used to win by 30 seconds or more? Well, the Norwegian multiple-time world champion was nearly there again, racing to first in the women’s 10-kilometer classic individual start with a margin of 26.5 seconds to second on Sunday.

Bjørgen started in the middle of the pack, in bib 38, and bested the time of her teammate Heidi Weng by 57.2 seconds on the two-lap World Cup course in Otepää, Estonia.

That bumped Weng to second, and another Norwegian Ingvild Flugstad Østberg to third (+1:17.4), until Sweden’s late-starting Charlotte Kalla in bib 60 broke up the Norwegian sweep in second. Kalla finished 26.5 seconds shy of Bjørgen, but 30 seconds faster than Weng for the second spot on the podium. Weng ended up third for the second-straight day and Østberg fourth.

Also in the top 10, Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk placed fifth (+1:19.7), Finland’s Krista Parmakoski was sixth (+1:23.1), Russia’s Anastasia Sedov seventh (+1:29.6), Sweden’s Anna Haag eighth (+1:50.7), Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva ninth (+1:57.2), and Norway’s Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen 10th (+1:57.8).

American Sadie Bjornsen finished in the top 20 in 19th (+2:30.5). Also in the points for the U.S., Rosie Brennan placed 24th (+2:37.8) and Liz Stephen 29th (+2:53.8). Kikkan Randall was about 10 seconds outside the top 30 in 34th (+3:04.7), Ida Sargent finished 42nd (+3:46.1), and Chelsea Holmes 50th (+4:47.5).

Emily Nishikawa led the Canadian women in 40th (+3:39), Dahria Beatty was 45th (+4:11.9), Cendrine Browne 54th (+5:09.2), and Katherine Stewart-Jones 57th (+5:37.1).

The men’s 15 k classic podium at the Otepaa World Cup on Sunday in Estonia, with Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby (c) in first, Finland’s Iivo Niskanen (l) in second, and Norway’s Hans Christer Holund (r) in third. (Photo: FIS Cross Country/Twitter)

[UPDATED] Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby dominated the men’s 15 k classic from start to finish on Sunday, starting near the back of the nearly 80-man field and clocking the fastest splits throughout the three-lap race.

He topped the previous best time set by Finland’s Iivo Niskanen by 37.1 seconds with a winning time of 40:38.2. Conditions weren’t easy on the rainy afternoon in Otepää, with tracks appearing shallow at best and visibly washed out in places.

Norway had two on the podium with Hans Christer Holund in third (+49.1). Niklas Dyrhaug was 6.2 seconds short of the podium in fourth, Finland’s Matti Heikkinen placed fifth (+58.1), Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin sixth (+1:01.3), Russia’s Alexander Bessmertnykh seventh (+1:02.5), Norway’s Sjur Røthe eighth (+1:03.5), Norway’s Didrik Tønseth ninth (+1:14.5), and France’s Maurice Manificat 10th (+1:21.3).

Canada’s Alex Harvey led the North Americans in 19th (+1:50). Graeme Killick finished 47th (+3:44.6), Devon Kershaw 49th (+3:51.3), Knute Johnsgaard 58th (+4:50.4), and Jess Cockney 72nd (+7:15).

Erik Bjornsen was the top American in 36th (+3:12.1) and Ben Lustgarten finished 66th (+5:34.1).

Results: Women | Men

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