Sunday Tim Burke took over the yellow bib as World Cup leader in Biathlon. For the first time ever an US athlete is the best biathlete of the world.
With an amazing performance in the pursuit of Pokljuka, Slovenia Tim Burke did not only manage to finish on sixth place but he also stayed ahead of his strongest competitor for the yellow bib, French athlete Simon Fourcade.
It was one of the most exciting races so far for the team. Fourcade and Burke were seperated by only one point in the overall world cup so Burke had to stay ahead of the strong Frenchman to take the yellow bib. In the first two shooting stages he cleaned all ten targets with Fourcade already losing time after two misses. The first standing though Burke missed two targets. "I just don't know what happened then. It probably was a head thing but seriously? I don't remember anymore", Burke laughed after the race.
With Fourcade just at his heels Burke came to the last shooting and again missed one target. Nine seconds after the Frenchmen he left the stadium - with all of the team members out on the tracks cheering on him. "I just saw it in his eyes. I just knew that he would get Fourcade", team leader Bernd Eisenbichler was sure. Head coach Per Nilsson's impression was just the same: "He was on fire, that's for sure."
What followed then was - according to Burke - the loudest last loop ever. "I just saw yellow. I completely stopped thinking and with all my team members cheering at the track I just flew over the course!"
As Eisenbichler stated: "I am completely speechless. We tried not to talk with Tim about the possibility to get yellow but of course we all thought about it. It's truly unbelievable. The world's best biathlete right now is an American!"
Statement of Tim Burke
Statement of the Coach and the Team Leader
US Team Results