BIATHLON - Moves Up to 16th in Ruhpolding Pursuit
Ruhpolding, Germany, January 13. Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, AK), after a clean shooting 17th place in the 10K Sprint on Saturday moved up one place today with a 16th place finish in the 12.5K Pursuit. Hakkinen was not able to repeat his clean shooting of yesterday on another windless afternoon, as he had three penalties in the final three stages today. He breezed through the first prone stage as did teammate Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY), dropping all five targets with ease. In the second stage, was Hakkinen in the middle of the range and Bailey on point 22, both missed the last shot. As others were also missing, their positions did not change much. Hakkinen again entered the shooting stage, just a few positions ahead of Bailey. This time, Bailey cleaned and Hakkinen went to the penalty loop. The two left the stadium area in positions 20 and 21. As in most Pursuit competitions, the final stage is decisive; shoot well and move up; anything less and the places slip away. This time, Hakkinen toppled four targets quickly, but missed the fifth, while Bailey hit three and missed the final two. At the finish, Hakkinen had jumped to 16th place, 2:2.8 behind Michael Greis of Germany. Bailey slipped back to 29th, 3:07.5 back. Still, both US Biathletes scored World Cup Points and were not disappointed with the results. Hakkinen said,"You always want more, but this was still good. I moved up. I am still trying to get used to being in these fast races (after several sub-par competitions several weeks ago). It is nice to be consistent again. One of the keys today was my skis, which were super!"After Hakkinen's comment about his skis, he and Bailey complimented each other on their skiing, as the two were either close together or in sight most of the afternoon.