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20th Place for Burke in Austria

Biathlon World Cup: Hochfilzen

Sat, Dec  12, 2009 - By Viktoria Franke

It might not have been a repetition of last week’s results but given the conditions in Hochfilzen, Austria, Tim Burke still managed to show a good performance. With two penalties, Burke ranked twentieth in the end, one minute behind the leader Ole Einar Bjoerndalen from Norway. “It snowed really heavy but for a lightweight athlete like me that is not that big a problem. Others probably had a harder time on the course. I think I showed again a solid result but I still think that those two misses should not have happened. Nevertheless I am not that far away from Bjoerndalen so I really am looking forward to the pursuit tomorrow!”

Jay Hakkinen will be the second US biathlete in tomorrow’s pursuit. With one penalty and the 38th place Hakkinen still hasn’t reached his expectations but he’s confident that it will happen soon. “I need the competition practice and I feel that my confidence at the shooting range is improving by the second. The most important thing for me is to be patient and not overreact because of the results so far. The goal is to be in top form at the Olympics and that’s all that counts!”

Shooting coach Armin Auchentaller didn’t know right after the race how the misses of his athletes happened. “We still have to discuss that because all the hits were really in the center of the target but some misses were way out. I don’t think that those shooting results were influenced by the snowy conditions but I can’t really figure it out without talking to each athlete individually.”

Lowell Bailey, Jeremy Teela and Kevin Patzoldt missed the Top 60 thus none of them will ski in the pursuit on Saturday. Teela explained the difficulties on the track after his race: “You had to fight so hard today to ski through the pain on the track. Especially the penalty loop was quite slow today so you lost extra time when you missed a target. Anyway, I guess we can just forget about that race. There will be better ones to look forward to!” The US women experienced the same difficulties but they are looking forward to use that extra time to prepare for the last December World Cup in Pokljuka.