NOVE MESTO, CZE (February 9, 2013) - The 2013 IBU World Championships continued in Nove Mesto, CZE today with the men and women's sprint events. Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) had the top finish for Team USA's men in the 10-kilometer sprint, tying Germany's Simon Schempp for 28th place with a time of 25:01.3 (1+1). Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) finished 32nd with a time of 25:02.8 (1+0). Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen won today's race posting 23:25.1 (0+1), World Cup leader Marin Fourcade (FRA) took second with 23:33 (0+1), and Jacov Fak (SLO) finished third (23:36.3/0+0).
"Today was definitely not the sprint that I was looking for," said Burke. "Two penalties is simply not good enough in a field of this quality. I felt decent on the skis today and there is still plenty of racing left, so I am still hopeful for a top result here. The biggest surprise for me today was big the crowd. I had not realized how popular biathlon is in Czech. It was a lot fun to compete in front of such an energetic crowd."
"I'm definitely disappointed with the result today. There's no other way to describe it," said Bailey. "I felt good skiing and shot well compared to the rest of the field. Unfortunately, my ski speed was not where I expected it to be. The only thing now is to let it go, look forward and focus on tomorrow. Tomorrow's pursuit race is still very tight and anything can happen. I'm just going to take a few hours to relax this evening and then wake up tomorrow, ready to go!"
Russell Currier (Stockholm, ME) posted a time of 25:30.4, and two penalties in prone, to take 44th place. Leif Nordgren (Marine, MN) finished 53rd with a time of 25:43.8 (1+0). Extended results from today's sprint are available here. NBC Sports Network will air a replay of today's 10-k sprint tonight, 6-7pm (EST).
Finishing among the top-60 in today's sprint, Burke, Bailey, Currier and Nordgren will race tomorrow's 12.5k pursuit. Competitors in the pursuit event start in the order of today's sprint finish, with starts times separated by their time differences in the sprint as well. Tomorrow's start list and results will be available here. Racing begins at 7am (EST) and can be viewed via livestream webcast here, and on NBC Sports Network from 6-7pm (EST).
Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, NY) had the top finish for Team USA in today's 7.5k sprint, finish in a tie with Victoria Padial Hernandez (ESP) for 45th place (23:05.4/0+2). Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT) finished 49th with a time of 23:09.5 and four penalties. Ukraine's Olena Pidrushna won the sprint with a time of 21:01.1 and clean shooting. World Cup leader Tora Berger (NOR) took second with 21:08.5 and one penalty.Vita Semerenko (UKR) placed third with a time of 21:24.9 and clean shooting.
"I have mixed feelings about today's sprint," said Cook. "in some ways I was really happy with how it went and in others I am disappointed. This course is tricky and I felt like I raced really smart. I was more nervous than normal before racing today, but once I started skiing, I felt really calm and relaxed. Prone was great and I was happy to clean and then for standing I felt like good things were going to happen, but they didn't. I hit the first three shots and then accidentally pulled the trigger, distracting me for my last shot, which I also missed. So that was a bummer. I am happy that I am racing the pursuit because last year I didn't and I hope that I have a chance to put together an entire race that I can feel good about! We had great skis and the staff was everywhere for us on the course, so that was really nice. Plus, the fans were super again!"
"I had a great feeling going into today's race after Thursday's relay," said Dunklee. "I was confident and very relaxed. Unfortunately I struggled on the range. My shooting stages didn't not feel as automatic as they normally do. I have another chance in tomorrow's pursuit and will start around some great athletes, including Annelies. I believe we can improve on what we did today."
Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) finished 65th (23:35.5/2+0) and Hannah Deeissigacker (Morrisville, VT) placed 71st in her first individual World Championship race (24:01/0+3). Extended results from today's women's sprint are available here. A replay of today's 7.5k sprint will be telecast on Universal Sports on Monday, Feb.11, 7-8pm (EST).
Cook and Dunklee qualified for tomorrow's 10k pursuit, which starts at 10:15am (EST). Catch a livestream webcast of the women's pursuit here and watch a replay of the race on Universal Sports on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7-8pm (EST). Tomorrow's 10k start list and results will be available here.