OSLO, Norway (March 20, 2010) - Starting today’s Pursuit in 44th place, Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) showed his strength as he moved up twenty places to 24th despite three penalties overall.
“That was a great race. Tim’s getting back in shape after his sickness, I am really satisfied with that performance”, said US Biathlon Head Coach Per Nilsson. Burke didn’t imagine he would manage such a result. “The track was so hard today; it felt more like a 20k than a Pursuit. Of course it’s great to move up so many places so now I am looking forward to the Mass Start tomorrow,” said Burke.
While Burke’s season isn’t finished yet the rest of the U.S. biathlon team will head home from Oslo within the next two days after showing solid results in the last two races.
The Oslo World Cup opened with the women’s and men’s sprint races on Thursday. Burke was disappointed after finishing 44th but promised himself to do better in today’s pursuit. With Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) finishing in 90th place all eyes were on newcomer Leif Nordgren (Marine-on-St. Croix, MN).
Nordgren came to the finish as one of the last competitors and after showing great results both in the Junior WCHs as well as in the Open European Championships his goal was to make today’s Pursuit. A goal that he missed by 0.9 seconds. "Those were some nerve wrecking minutes in the finish to see the last competitors coming in and kicking me out of the Pursuit. To miss it by not even one second really upsets me, “ said Nordgren. “The track was really mushy and hard to ski but I was satisfied with my performance anyway. My shooting was fine with 1-0 and it was a nice experience."
In the women’s race Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) showed a solid performance with a 46th place in Thursday’s Sprint after one penalty. "For how I felt it was a good race. It was a long way to come here and I am really tired now,” said Studebaker following Thursday’s race. Studebaker finished a solid 50th in today’s Pursuit. “I am satisfied with Sara’s performance. It confirmed the level she’s competing in right now,” said Nilsson. “We will work a lot on the skiing and especially on the shooting speed over the summer and then I think her goal next season could be Top 50.”
For Lanny Barnes (Durango, CO) two misses in the Sprint were too much to qualify for today’s Pursuit. “I expected to shoot better but what can you do,” said Barnes. “It was a long season and I was really tired, but after some rest I will be looking forward to next season!”
World Cup racing continues tomorrow with the men’s Mass Start beginning at 11am (EST). Watch World Cup racing from Oslo live, online at http://tiny.cc/u96nv. Please visit www.biathlonworld3.de/en/ for a complete schedule and race results.