OBERHOF, Germany - Biathlon World Cup racing resumes in Oberhof, Germany Jan. 6-10 following a two week holiday break. It’s been a historic start to the 2009-2010 World Cup season as Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) has collected two medals, silver and bronze, and is the current leader in Overall World Cup standings - the first time ever for a U.S. biathlete.
Over 50,000 spectators are expected to attend this week’s competition, which will kick off the final triad of World Cups - Oberhof, Ruhpolding and Antholz - leading up to the Olympic Winter Games. The U.S. team will consist of Burke, three-time Olympian Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, Alaska), Haley Johnson (Lake Placid, NY) and two-time Olympian Jeremy Teela (Heber City, UT), all met the pre-qualification standards to secure a spot on the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team.
Coming off a productive holiday break the U.S. team looks strong heading into the final World Cup stretch prior to the Olympics. “We have exciting weeks in Oberhof and Ruhpolding,” said Bernd Eisenbichler, U.S. Biathlon’s high performance director. “It was a great start to the season and an absolute highlight to have Tim get the yellow bib in the last race in 2009. Now everything starts new again and the key to success through the Vancouver Games will be to maintain our focus, with the same routines and same effort and hard work. We got hungry but we are not full yet, and we have other strong athletes that are ready to go,” he added.
“To go into next block of World Cups will be fun and exciting,” said Per Nilsson. U.S. Biathlon head coach. “Tim should continue to work like he started the season, with a great focus on his technique for both shooting and skiing. Tim has shown that he is among the best athletes, and that his level is high in both shooting and skiing. I think that he is longing for some races again.”
Watch for exciting competition as Burke defends his Overall title against Norwegian biathlon greats, Ole Einar Björndalen and Emil Hegle Svendsen, who both return to Oberhof after skipping the Pokljuka World Cup to spend an extra week training.
Watch World Cup racing from Oberhof live online at http://tiny.cc/u96nv. Please visitwww.biathlonworld3.de/en/ for a complete list of race results.
IBU World Cup Schedule - Oberhof, Germany (all times EST):
1/6 8:15am 4x6km Relay Women
1/7 8:15am 4x7.5km Relay Men
1/8 8:30am 7.5km Sprint Women
1/9 6:45am 10km Sprint Men
1/10 5:00am 12.5km Mass Start Women
1/10 7:20am 15km Mass Start Men
Final round of U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team Trials begin Jan.7 at IBU Continental Cup in Altenberg, Germany
The IBU Continental Cup , which is the final phase of the U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team selection begins on Thursday, January 7th in Altenberg. U.S. biathletes competing in Altenberg are vying for two available spots on the Men’s Team and three spots on the Women’s Team.
The roster of athletes competing in Altenberg includes:
Trials begin with a time-trial Sprint race on Thursday Jan. 7, which will be contested between the U.S. athletes, and will be scored using percent-back - a formula in which the three top times are averaged together to get a base score.
Racing continues with the start of the IBU Continental Cup on Saturday. The U.S. biathletes will keep their two best scores and the top man and the top two women will be nominated to the U.S Team and the final athletes for each team nominated by the staff. The U.S. Olympic Committee will announce announce the team on Monday January 11, 2010.
Live race data from the Altenberg races will be available at: http://services.biathlonresults.com/DataCenter_IBU.aspx.