Burke sprints to 21st in Pokljuka World Cup pursuit

Photos from the men's and women's pursuit races at the IBU World Cup in Pokljuka, Slovenia, on Dec. 20, 2014

Dec. 20, 2014, 11:10 a.m. (ET)

POKLJUKA, Slovenia (December 20, 2014) – Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) won a three-way sprint to the line to place 21st in Saturday’s 12.5-kilometer pursuit at the IBU World Cup in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Burke’s teammate Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) was 29th.

Starting in the 26th position after yesterday’s sprint race, Burke struggled early with two penalties on the first prone stage which dropped him to 44th. But back-to-back clean rounds in prone and standing had him back up to 26th place entering the final shoot.

Bailey, meanwhile, was the 16th skier out of the gate. With just two penalties through the first three range stages, he found himself tied for 10th exiting the range after the first standing. At the final standing stage, Burke had one penalty and Bailey had two, and the teammates left the range together for the finish. At the line, Burke edged Canada’s Nathan Smith by 0.8 seconds. Bailey came in just over 11 seconds later.

“After a rough start with two penalties in the first stage, I was happy to bounce back to a decent result,” said Burke. “The competition was so tight today that those first two penalties dropped me back almost 20 places. I just tried to stay positive and take it one shot at a time from that point on and it worked out pretty well in the end. I felt good on the skis again today and I am really looking forward to the mass start tomorrow. I hope to finally put together good prone and standing shooting in the same race.”

Burke’s time of 32:39.3 was 1:56 back of winner Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway (30:43.3/+0). Russia’s Anton Shipulin (31:01.1/+2) and France’s Martin Fourcade (31:42.8/+1) rounded out the top three men’s finishers.

“I was happy with three quarters of the race today,” Bailey said. “That last standing stage just wasn’t what I had hoped for. There was such an opportunity and I couldn’t capitalize on it in the end. But that’s the way this sport is. You just have to be patient, learn from your mistakes, and refocus on the next race. I’m looking forward to the mass start tomorrow.”

Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) moved up two spots from the start to finish 51st (34:51.2/+3). Full results of the men’s sprint are available here.

Earlier in the day, the sunny skies and mild temperatures greeted the women’s 10k pursuit race. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), started in the 19th position but suffered five penalties, including three at the last standing stage, and finished 28th with a time of 33:13.0. 

“I’ve been fighting a sore throat and my head feels foggy from a cold, so today was a struggle,” said Dunklee. “My goal was to ski efficiently, earn a few more points and secure a spot in tomorrow’s mass start. It wasn’t my prettiest performance, especially with some struggles in the last shooting stage, but I will get another chance tomorrow.”

Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.), who went clean during Thursday’s sprint race, struggled at the range today with six penalties and placed 56th in 36:35.3.

Darya Domracheva (BLR) captured the women’s victory with one penalty and a time of 29:55.9. Kaisa Makarainen (FIN) took second (30:05.9/+1) and Valj Semerenko (UKR) was third (30:32.7/+1). Full results of the women’s sprint are available here.

The World Cup in Pokljuka concludes tomorrow with the mass start races. The women go off the line at 5:30 a.m. (ET) with the men to follow at 7:30 a.m. (ET). Fans can watch a live stream of the races here.

IBU World Cup 2

Pokljuka, Slovenia

Dec. 18-21, 2014

Men’s 12.5km Pursuit

1.

Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR)

30:43.3/+0

2.

Anton Shipulin (RUS)

31:01.1/+2

3.

Martin Fourcade (FRA)

31:42.8/+1

21.

Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)

32:39.3/+3

29.

Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.)

32:50.6/+4

51.

Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn)

34:51.2/+3

 

Women’s 10km Pursuit

1.

Darya Domracheva (BLR)

29:55.9/+1

2.

Kaisa Makarainen (FIN)

30:05.9/+1

3.

Valj Semerenko (UKR)

30:32.7/+1

28.

Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)

33:13.0/+5

56.

Hannah Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.)

36:35.3/+6

 

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