Hochfilzen, Austria, December 16. Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, AK) had his best result of the season today with a 32nd place Men’s 10K Sprint, the final individual competition before the holiday break. Hakkinen, nagged by a viral infection for the past couple of weeks today showed that he is well on the road to full recovery. In his best race of the year, Hakkinen cleaned prone and had only one standing penalty, finishing 1:26.7 behind Raphael Poiree of France, who shot clean on his way to a 24:34 victory.
Earlier in the week, when it was confirmed that Hakkinen’s lack of from was due to illness, he was told by the doctor that he was on his way to recovery. At the time, he said, with relief in his voice, “I knew something was not right and it is good to know what was wrong. I am feeling much better and hope to be on form this week or at the latest in Oberhof.” After skiing well in Thursday’s 10K Sprint, it was obvious that he was returning to form as predicted. Today, he was just 3.3 seconds from the top 30 and 19.7 seconds from the top 20.
Brian Olsen (Heber City, UT) placed 85thtoday, with one penalty, 3:37.1 back.
The first third of the biathlon season ends here tomorrow with relays for both men and women. The US will not field a men’s squad, but will have women’s team. Starting for the US will be Lanny Barnes, Tracy Barnes (Durango, CO), Denise Teela (Anchorage, AK), and Jill Krause (St. Cloud, MN). Teela today placed 10th in the Women’s 7.5K sprint at the Obertilliach, Austria Europa Cup. Teela, with one penalty, finished 1:20.4 behind Sabrina Buchholz of Germany.
Through the first two World Cup competitions of the new season, the US Biathlon Team, led by Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) is off to a fast start going into the holiday break. Three men, Burke, Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY), and Jeremy Teela (Anchorage, AK), as well as one woman, Lanny Barnes (Durango, CO) has qualified for the 2007 Biathlon World Championships, scheduled for early February.
Live streaming video coverage of Biathlon World Cup competitions for the remainder of the season is available by clicking the Biathlon World Cup logo at the top right of the page at www.usbiathlon.org.
The United States Biathlon Association is the National Governing Body for the sport of Biathlon in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Biathlon Union. The US Biathlon Association supports the US Biathlon Team and development of the sport on all levels within the United States.
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