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Men repeat success in the pursuit competitions at the World Championships


Mon, Sep  28, 2009 - By Viktoria Franke, US Biathlon Association

Tim Burke at the Start (Photo: Victoria Franke)Another day, another great result for the US biathlon team. The World Championships in Summer Biathlon ended today in Oberhof with the Pursuit competitions. Again the US-Team managed to show a strong team performance.

With some promising rankings the US men started in today’s pursuit competition. Although the desired medal was again denied the men nevertheless managed to prove once more that they are on a good way to show some great performances within the upcoming season.

Tim Burke started as fourth 23 seconds after yesterday’s winner Christoph Stephan. While the Germans fought each other for the medals, Burke showed once more a strong competition, ranking fifth in the end. He struggled quite a bit at the shooting range today with five misses overall but so did many others. “I know that I could have done better today. But I take those races as a good lesson”, Burke stated after the race. “To be honest: Although I am tired I’d prefer some more races. I feel that I’d need those to get in the flow at the shooting range. With that loud audience here and the strong competition it is a totally different shooting situation than during training. So I guess some more experiences like that would help me a lot on my way to the top!”

Burke finished 53.5 seconds after today’s winner Michael Roesch from Germany. Especially on the last loop Burke was able to show his strength on the rollerskis, passing the strong Croatian biathlete Jakov Fak on the course.

Jeremy Teela and Lowell Bailey almost crossed the finish line together, with a 6.3 seconds time gap between them. Teela finished twelfth with five misses; Bailey had to go into the penalty loop six times. Both of them stated that they felt tired on the course after the long training weeks over in Europe but nevertheless were happy with those Top15 results. Teela also figured that he could have done a better job in arranging his race: “I started way too fast because I wanted to catch up to German Alexander Wolf who was just ahead of me. I killed myself on the first loop and I guess I should have started way slower!”

Tim Burke at 2009 Summer Biathlon World Championships

Tim Burke at 2009 Summer Biathlon World Championships

Jay Hakkinen moved up four places and finished 24th. Team Leader Bernd Eisenbichler was impressed by the overall team performance. “They all showed a stable line on both the shooting and the running. Now we know better where we stand in the international field and can continue with the detailed work in shooting. We have two months until the world cup starts and that will be the main focus now. I guess, those two races really taught us a lot and it was a good thing to start here.”

After the World Championships come to an end today the team will stay one more week in Oberhof to use the opportunity to do some ski testing in the newly build ski hall in Oberhof.