By Stuart Lieberman | Feb. 23, 2018, 8:32 a.m. (ET)

Tim Burke competes in the men's 4x7.5-kilometer at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 23, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

 

The U.S. tied its best-ever Olympic finish in the men’s biathlon 4x7.5-kilometer on Friday at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, taking sixth place in 1:19:06.7 with a team led by four-time Olympians Lowell Bailey and Tim Burke. The U.S. also took sixth in the relay at the 1972 Games in Sapporo, Japan.

While Team USA will be leaving these Games still in search of its first-ever Olympic biathlon medal, the men’s sixth-place relay finish is the country’s highest finish in any Olympic biathlon event. It was also one spot better than the team’s seventh-place relay finish at the 2017 world championships.

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Bailey started off the relay clocking a 19:14.2 in the first leg to put the U.S. in 10th place before handing over the reigns to two-time Olympian Sean Doherty. The 22-year-old skyrocketed through the second leg, and with a clean standing shoot put the U.S. into sixth place heading into the next exchange with Burke. Alone in sixth by then, Burke had a clean shoot in the prone to keep the Americans safely in contention for a top-10 spot before handing off to Leif Nordgren, who completed the relay just as the winds were picking up at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre.

Sweden took gold in the relay after a frenetic battle with Norway, which took silver, on the final leg. Germany left with the bronze.

Stuart Lieberman covered Paralympic sports for three years at the International Paralympic Committee, including at the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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