Kontiolahti, FINLAND. Yesterday's test event for the Mixed-Relay World Championships in Russia took place at the World Cup in Kontiolahti, Finland. For the U.S. athletes it was the first race of the final three World Cups of the season.
The U.S. Mixed-Relay team included Sara Studebaker (Boise, Idaho), Lanny Barnes (Durango, Co.), Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and Leif Nordgren (Marine-on-St. Croix, MN). In a competition that was seen as a training competition for the upcoming individual races the U.S. team ranked 12th in the end, finishing +4:35.3 minutes behind the winner Norway. The Norwegian team included some of their best athletes, including Olympic Champions Tora Berger, Halvard Hanevold and Tarjei Boe.
Studebaker placed the U.S. team in a solid position with a clean prone standing, while she struggled at standing. Still, Studebaker managed to stay out of the penalty loop with three extras needed. Lanny Barnes showed an incredible shooting performance as she was one of only few athletes today who did not need any extras to clean all ten targets. Lowell Bailey needed three extras in standing but showed the sixth best loop time of the men before he handed over to Nordgren who finished just seconds after the 2007 Mixed-Relay World Champion Sweden.
World Cup racing continues today with the Women's 7.5km Sprint beginning at 4:30am (EST), followed by the Men's 10km Sprint at 8:15am (EST). Watch World Cup racing from Kontiolahti live, online at http://tiny.cc/u96nv. Please visit http://tinyurl.com/ykckknj for a complete list of today's race results.
Kontiolahti World Cup Schedule
Start Time Date (EST) Distance Discipline 13 Mar 4:30am 7.5 km Sprint - Women 13 Mar 8:15am 10 km Sprint - Men 14 Mar 4:30am 10 km Pursuit - Women 14 Mar 7:00am 12.5 km Pursuit - Men