OSLO, Norway (February 2, 2012) – Team USA had an outstanding opening day highlighted by strong performances at the range and on the track at the E.ON IBU World Cup 7 at Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway today.
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) raced to an impressive 8th place finish in the Men’s 10K Sprint, posting 26:07.9 (0+1), +45.7 seconds back from Evgenly Garanichev (RUS) with career-first World Cup victory at 25:22.2 (0+0). Arnd Peiffer (GER) took 2nd with a time of 25:22.9 (0+0), and Emil Hegle Svendensen (NOR) finished 3rd at 25:34.0 (0+2). Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) posted 26:25.6 (0+1) for 15th place, and Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, AK) finished 24th with a time of 26:38 (1+0).
“It was a great team result today,” said Bailey. “Finally we had a day where the ski tracks were firm and there was little wind on the range. It seems like so far this year the conditions have always been less than optimal. Today was a perfect winter day for biathlon. I felt good skiing, and shooting came together well with one miss on the day. I think all of us felt really prepared heading into today's race having spent the last week training in Antholz, Italy. Both the women and the men showed that Team USA is in contention for the podium!”
“Today was a great day for the entire team and a solid race for me as well,” said Burke. “I made a poor decision with ski selection, but other than that I was very pleased with both my skiing and shooting. Saturday's pursuit will be very exciting with the field starting so close together.”
Extended results from the Men’s Sprint are available here.
Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) had the top finish for Team USA’s women, 23rd, in the 7.5K Sprint. Posting a 22:47 (0+1), Studebaker had her best race of the 2011-12 season, finishing +2:06.0 minutes back from World Cup leader Magdalena Neuner (GER) (20:41.9/0+0). Darya Domracheva (BLR) was 2nd with 21:20 (0+1), and Tora Berger (NOR) took 3rd with 21:30.8 (1+0).
“Today was a good day for me. It's a great feeling to be back in the Top-25 and be sitting in such a good position for the pursuit,” said Studebaker. “To have our whole team have a top-notch day was icing on the cake, for sure. It's definitely inspiring and exciting to see us all having good results as we get close to World Champs.”
Annalies Cook (Saranac Lake, NY) posted her career-best senior World Cup finish today at 33rd (23:12.4/0+1), and Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT) was 35th (23:14.5/0+3). Extended results from the Women’s Sprint are available here
World Cup racing continues in Oslo Saturday with the Women’s 10K Pursuit starting at 13:15 (CET), followed by the Men’s 12.5K Pursuit at 15:15 (CET). Log in and watch the races live at http://www5.biathlonworld.com/en/