Jake Brown (St. Paul, Minn./Craftsbury Green Racing Project & USABA) and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H./National Guard Biathlon & USBA) qualified for the first Olympic pursuit of their careers Saturday at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. Brown, competing in his first Olympic Games, and Doherty, racing in his third Games, both finished in the top-60 of the men’s 10-kilometer sprint at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Center to achieve pursuit qualification.
Brown shot clean from prone and had two penalties in standing to place 36th. Doherty was 47th with a prone penalty and three standing penalties.
“I think skiing was better than it was in the individual,” Brown said. “I had a really strong first lap and felt pretty good but pretty just got tired out there and couldn’t quite have my good pop on the last lap. I was happy to go clear in the first prone. Eighty percent is fine, nothing special.
Brown’s best career finish in the pursuit was 25th at last year’s world championships and he admits the race is not his strong suit but is something he has been striving to improve.
“Pursuit has always been a challenge for me,” added Brown. “I’m better in the individual races. Head-to-head shooting is something I’ve been working a lot on this year. I’m always excited to get to race the pursuit and to make it. It will be another opportunity to improve that four-stage head-to-head shooting races, which I always want to get better. I look forward to it.”
Falling outside pursuit qualification in Saturday’s sprint were Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis./Team Crosscut & USBA) and Leif Nordgren (Hinesburg, Vt./National Guard Biathlon & USBA). Schommer finished 74th while Nordgren was 83rd.
Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe won the sprint gold medal with a single standing penalty and a time of 24:00.4. Quentin Fillon Maillet of France, also with one penalty, took the silver medal, 25.5 seconds back, while Boe’s older brother, Tarjei, claimed the bronze medal with a penalty and 38.9 seconds behind his sibling.
Sunday will be the first day on the Olympic schedule to feature two races in the same day as the women’s and men’s pursuit will be held back-to-back. The women’s 10km pursuit begins at 4:00 a.m. EST, with the men’s 12.5km pursuit following at 5:45 a.m. EST. All four U.S. women will be racing Sunday with Susan Dunklee (Craftsbury, Vt./Craftsbury Green Racing Project & USBA), Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.), Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, Wis./National Guard Biathlon & USBA) and Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Craftsbury Green Racing Project & USBA) all in contention and joining Brown and Doherty on the tracks of the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Center.
Men’s 10k sprint results
|1.||Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR)||24:00.4/+1|
|2.||Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA)||+25.5/+1|
|3.||Tarjei Boe (NOR)||+38.9/+1|
|36.||Jake Brown (St. Paul, Minn.)||+2:04.3/+2|
|47.||Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.)||+2:34.8/+4|
|74.||Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.)||+3:12.9/+4|
|83.||Leif Nordgren (Hinesburg, Vt.)||+3:31.4/+3|
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Biathlon Event Schedule for Beijing 2022 Olympic Games (all times EST)
Sunday, Feb. 13
4:00 am – Women’s 10km pursuit
5:45 am – Men’s 12.5km pursuit
Tuesday, Feb. 15
4:00 am – Men’s 4×7.5km relay
Wednesday, Feb. 16
2:45 am – Women’s 4x6km relay
Friday, Feb. 18
4:00 am – Men’s 15km mass start
Saturday, Feb. 19
4:00 am – Women’s 12.5km mass start