OBERTILLIACH, Austria (January 27, 2013) - Sean Doherty (Center Conway, NH) is the 2013 IBU Youth (U19) Pursuit World Champion. The 17-year-old Doherty won today's 10-kilometer pursuit with a commanding lead of 28.2 seconds, posting a time of 29:31.0 (2+0+0+1). Rene Zahkna (EST) was second with a time of 29:59.2/0+1+2+0, and Fredrick Roervik (NOR) was third posting 30:03.5/0+0+1+2. Extended results from today's 10-kilometer Youth World Championships pursuit are available here.
"It feels great to be World Champion. It's amazing and has been a goal of mine," said Doherty. "During the race I felt really good and very in control. I recognized I had a good lead going, which was good since I wasn't feeling superb skiing. I was glad to be in charge of the race from there. I made sure I didn't get ahead of myself and stayed focused on one thing at a time. I was a little bit nervous to start second today, but I had a really good plan and stuck with that and it worked out great. I was glad that I was able to keep a calm head throughout all the shooting.
My only struggle was that my first prone wasn't exactly as I planned it, but if there is one stage that you have a struggle, that's the one that I could make up for early on in the race. Going forward this week I feel good about the individual, which is a shooting race, and I'm really looking forward to the relay," added Doherty.
"As Sean came into the fourth stage today, I was pretty sure he would win and that's what he did," said U.S. Biathlon Coach Vladimir Cervenka. "It was very exciting for all of the staff and athletes."
Today marks the second podium of the weekend for Doherty, who won silver in Friday's 7.5-kilometer sprint, where he had an outstanding race, posting a time of 21:16.0 (1+1), just 3.6 seconds back from France's Fabian Claude, winning with a time of 21:12.4 (0+2).
Doherty was also a member of the mixed U.S. Biathlon relay team that won bronze at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Doherty's podium continues a tradition of strong performances by Team USA men at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships. Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, AK) won gold in the sprint in 1997, and Leif Nordgren (Marine, MN) won bronze in the 2008 pursuit.
Anna Kubek (Duluth, MN) raced for Team USA in today's Youth (U19) Women’s 7.5-kilometer pursuit, and took 25th place, up from a start at 34th, with a time of 31:36.0/1+0+1+0. Uliana Kaisheva (RUS) had back-to-back wins this weekend, topping today's pursuit with a time of 26:44.4 (1+1+1+1), following a win in Friday's 6.6-kilometer sprint. Extended results from today's Youth (U19) Women’s 7.5-kilometer pursuit are available here.
Casey Smith (Methow Valley, WA) took 23rd - up from a start with bib 43 - in today's Junior (U21) Men’s 12.5-kilometer pursuit with a time of 40:05.4/0+0+1+0. Johannes Thongnes Boe (NOR) won today's Junior sprint with a time of 34:58.2/0+1+2+0. Complete results from today's Junior sprint are available here.
"Besides Sean today, our other athletes that were racing - Anna and Casey - both improved. All the nations recognized that this is something special and they congratulated us. Hopefully this will get more kids interested in biathlon," added Cervenka.
The Youth / Junior Biathlon World Championships resume on Tuesday, and continue through February 1st. Keep up with the TEAM USA and their results by following our Twitter feed and by liking us on Facebook. A complete event schedule is available here and below.
2013 IBU Youth/Junior World Championship Schedule
Please note: All times are CET (6 hours ahead of Eastern Time)
29 Jan 10:00 Youth Women 10 km Individual
29 Jan 13:30 Youth Men 12.5 km Individual
30 Jan 10:00 Junior Women 12.5 km Individual
30 Jan 13:30 Junior Men 15 km Individual
31 Jan 10:00 Youth Women 3x6 km Relay
31 Jan 13:15 Youth Men 3x7.5 km Relay
01 Feb 10:00 Junior Women 3x6 km Relay
01 Feb 13:15 Junior Men 4x7.5 km Relay