On a calm day when good shooting was the norm, Hakkinen was only 22.7 seconds out of 15th place. His shooting, on both prone and standing was both fast and accurate, despite the one standing penalty. Twenty-five of the top 30 finishers today had either one or zero penalties. The close time back and the shooting statistics once again illustrates just how closely matched the top men are in the Biathlon World cup competitions. Hakkinen has now moved up to 54th in the Overall World Cup Standings.
Even with his 38th place finish today, Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) remains in the top 30 in the World Cup. After not scoring any points today, Burke slipped to 29th place. By holding his top 30 ranking, he earned a spot in the 15K Mass Start Competition tomorrow, reserved for the top 30 competitors. This will be Burke’s first ever World Cup Mass Start.
Burke started the day on his way to another big result, cleaning prone and coming into the standing stage in seventh position. Burke promptly dropped the first two targets, before a close miss on the third. He pressed to hit the final two targets, missing both. This pushed him back into the low twenties. Approaching the finish, he was battling for a final place in the mid- twenties when his skis tangled with those of Michael Slesinger of the Czech Republic. The Czech athlete wobbled but kept upright, while Burke tumbled hard, face down. He was on the ground several seconds before getting up and finishing, losing all of his momentum and valuable time.
At the finish, Burke was OK, other than a few scratches on his face. With a look of frustration on his face, he commented, “I do not know what happened with the last two standing shots. I knew the third was close. As for the fall, I tangled with Slesinger on the final bridge and lost.” Actually, Burke just lost today’s battle. He will be back to battle Slesinger and 28 other men in the Mass Start tomorrow.
“I felt the best I have all year today, so I went for it,” was Jeremy Teela’s (Anchorage, AK) description of his 58th place finish today. Teela despite starting 109th had a fast ski time, but four penalties that left him 2:45.5 behind Bjorndalen. Teammate Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) had one less penalty than Teela, but finished 63rd, 2:56.6 back.
In the this afternoon’s Sprint competitions at the Europa Cup in Cesana San Sicario, Italy, Brynden Manbeck (Grand Rapids, MN) finished second in the Junior Women’s 7.5K Sprint, with two penalties, 1:55.1 behind Shumilova of Russia, who won yesterday’s Individual competition.
In the Women’s 7.5K Sprint, Sarah Konrad, (Laramie, WY) placed 19th with 4 penalties, 3:10.8 behind Ute Niziak of Germany. Carolyn Treacy Bramante (Duluth, MN), with two penalties placed 23rd, 3:36.9 back while Haley Johnson (lake Placid, NY) with three penalties was 4:54.6 back.
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 http://www.usbiathlon.org.