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Burke qualifies for pursuit with 35th place

January 6, 2017
By staff , Lake Placid News

Paul Smiths native Tim Burke finished 35th as the top American in Thursday's 10-kilometer World Cup biathlon sprint race in Oberhof, Germany. Burke and Russell Currier, who finished 46th Thursday, will represent the United States in Saturday's 12.5k pursuit race.

Lowell Bailey, of Lake Placid, did not compete in Oberhof. He is home in Lake Placid to put in some additional training, before rejoining the team next weekend in Ruhpolding.

The competitors were met with challenging conditions Thursday. Heavy snowfall, cold temperatures and strong winds at the shooting range resulted in only two of the 102 athletes shooting clean. Burke hit eight of 10 targets, with his only two misses coming in the standing position, and crossed the line one minute, 51.8 seconds behind winner Julian Eberhard of Austria.

"The heavy snow and gusty wind made for a challenging race today," Burke said. "We were lucky that the snow stopped right before the start today, but this also made for some challenging conditions on the track throughout the race. I feel like I was lucky in prone with having little wind, but standing was a real fight with strong wind and it took me a long time to get all five shots off."

Eberhard won the race in 26:57.5 with one penalty for his first victory of the season and second of his career. Czech Republic's Michal Slesingr finished in second with one penalty, 10.5 seconds back. Third place went to Dominik Windisch of Italy, also with one penalty, 40.3 seconds behind Eberhard.

"Overall, I was pleased with my shooting performance today considering the windy conditions," Burke said. "Unfortunately, I am far off my normal ski shape. I had one of my best training years, so I am a bit confused as to why I have been so flat racing, but I am confident that it will eventually come around. If we continue to have strong winds here in Oberhof, Saturday's pursuit should present some great opportunities to move up."

Currier, of Stockholm, Maine, will join Burke in Saturday's pursuit race after finishing 46th with three penalties, 2:15.1 back of Eberhard. It was Currier's highest World Cup sprint result in four years. Sean Doherty, of Center Conway, New Hampshire, made his World Cup season debut and placed 80th with three penalties, 3:20.2 off the lead.

The BMW IBU World Cup 4 continues today with the women's 7.5k sprint. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vermont), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colorado) will be in action for Team USA.



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