Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, March 28. Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) finished 8th in today’s 12.5K Pursuit competition at the Biathlon World Cup here, moving up from 25th position at the start.
Burke moved steadily with each shooting stage and each loop today finishing with a single penalty, finished 1:05.6 behind Emile Hegle Svendsen of Norway. He recorded the fourth fastest ski time of the day. He was happy to be moving forward for the whole competition, commenting, It always feels good to be moving up in a Pursuit, rather than moving down. I was able to do that after almost every shooting stage today. That is a positive.”
Regarding the one penalty and his shooting performance, Burke said, “I really thought it was a hit. I felt very good today on the shooting range, relaxed and confident and everything worked out.” It definitely was my best race of the season. However, I am looking forward to tomorrow."
The 8th place was Burke’s best result of the year, eclipsing his 11th place in the 10K Sprint at the World Championships last month in Pyeongchang, Korea. With his big result today, Burke moved to 25th place in the overall World Cup rankings as he heads into the final competition of the season, the 15K Mass Start on Sunday.
“I have scored more World Cup points this season than ever before and really did not start scoring until January. I am working with half a season’s points. It was nice to claw myself back into the Mass Start field (top 30 in the Overall World Cup points) at the end of the season.”
At the end of a long season, which included trips to far-flung competitions in Korea, British Columbia, Norway, and now Siberia in the past 6 weeks, Burke is feeling strong. “I feel really good right now, surprisingly with all of the traveling the past month. I am ready to keep going. I did not get to race so much at the beginning of the season. I feel like I am a bit fresher than some of the others are right now.”
The eighth place today raised Burke’s confidence as he looks forward to the coming Olympic season. “Today was good for my confidence. It is always nice to end the season on a positive note.”
Burke’s final competition is the 15K Mass Start here tomorrow, starting at 3 PM, local time (7 AM EDT).