IBU World Cup (Oslo, Norway): Women’s and men’s sprints
In her last International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup sprint of the season, Susan Dunklee (US Biathlon) raced to a season-best fourth place in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint on Thursday at Holmenkollen in Oslo. Dunklee shot clean and finished 35.7 seconds behind Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina, who had a single prone miss (1+0) but skied the fastest course time to win in 21:31.8 minutes.
Darya Domracheva of Belarus finished 8.9 seconds back for second place with perfect 10-for-10 shooting. The rest of the top-seven finishers also shot clean, with Ukraine’s Yulia Dzhima placing third, 29.2 seconds out of first and 6.5 seconds ahead of Dunklee.
Rosanna Crawford led Canada in 38th (+1:51.8) with one penalty (0+1), and two of her teammates also qualified for Sunday’s pursuit by finishing in the top 60: Julia Ransom in 46th (+2:10.1; one penalty) and Emma Lunder in 57th (+2:28.2; one penalty). Sarah Beaudry finished 84th (+3:30.7; three penalties).
Four Americans competed, with Clare Egan finishing 68th (+2:44.8; three penalties), Joanne Reid 75th (+3:02.2; three penalties) and Emily Dreissigacker 83rd (+3:24.8; three penalties).
In the men’s 10 k sprint that followed, Sean Doherty (US Biathlon) raced to his best result of the season as well, and was one place away from tying his career best, placing 14th with clean shooting.
Doherty finished 47.1 seconds off the winning time set by Norway’s Henrik L’Abée-Lund, who notched his first World Cup win in 26:10.3. He also shot clean, while his teammate Johannes Thingnes Bø missed one in his standing stage to come 6.1 seconds short of winning at the finish. Bø finished second, while France’s Martin Fourcade placed third (+6.9) after shooting clean but falling on a downhill and losing valuable time.
Doherty posted the 24th-fastest overall range time, 26th-fastest shooting time and 33rd-ranked course time. The 22-year-old New Hampshire native was one of nine men in the top 14 that shot clean. His individual World Cup career best is 13th, which he notched during the 2015/2016 season in a sprint in Presque Isle, Maine. His 14th place on Thursday bested his 17th-place finishes in a sprint and a pursuit earlier this season.
Four out of five of the American men competing qualified for Saturday’s pursuit, with Lowell Bailey finishing 42nd (+1:41.1; two penalties), Leif Nordgren 43rd (+1:43.3; one penalty) and Tim Burke 57th (+2:12.8; four penalties). In his second World Cup start, Alex Howe finished 89th (+3:39.5; one penalty).
Canada’s Scott Gow and Christian Gow qualified for the pursuit, with Scott placing 49th in the sprint (+2:02.1; one penalty) and Christian finishing 56th (+2:12.3) with clean shooting. Brendan Green finished 71st (+2:31.3; two penalties) and Macx Davies was 96th (+4:27.2; four penalties).