Burke 20th in pursuit at World Championships

Photos from the men's and women's pursuit races at the IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, on March 8, 2015

March 08, 2015, 8:52 a.m. (ET)

KONTIOLAHTI, Finland (March 8, 2015) - Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) was the top American finisher Sunday in the pursuit races at the IBU World Championships. Burke placed 20th in the men's 12.5-kilometer race in a time of 32:36 minutes.

Greatly improved conditions from Saturday greeted the racers for the men's pursuit, with a slight breeze and some mist in the air. Burke, who started 15th (+1:00) and Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), who started 17th (+1:02), made an early run at the medals as clean shooting for both in the prone stages moved them up to sixth and 11th, respectively, at the midpoint of the race. At that point, Burke was just 25.8 seconds behind the leader and Bailey was 44.1 seconds off the pace.

But the standing stages proved to be the downfall for the two Americans. Burke had two misses at both standing stages, while Bailey missed four targets at the first stage and another in the final stage.

"I went into the race today with a goal of being very aggressive," Burke commented. "I knew that I needed a near-perfect race to move up into the top five. In the end I was just a little too aggressive in the standing stages and it cost me. The line of being aggressive, yet in control, is so fine and today I crossed the line. It was fun to be back in the mix with the top guys. I felt better today on the ski course and I think this is a good sign for the individual race."

Bailey finished in 36th place with a time of 33:50.5.

"(I'm) definitely disappointed with the performance today," said Bailey. "I felt good in the first two shootings but I couldn't handle the wind gusts in the third standing shooting. It was a big opportunity for a good result today, but with four misses I fell out of contention. Now it's just a matter of refocusing on the next races."

Germany's Erik Lesser won the men's pursuit with clean shooting in 30:47.9, giving his country its first medals of the 2015 IBU World Championships. Russia's Anton Shipulin finished with the silver medal, with one penalty, 17 seconds back, while Tarjei Boe of Norway claimed his third medal of the week in third place, 18.7 seconds back, also with one penalty.

Nineteen-year-old Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) hit 17 of 20 targets to move up 10 spots from the start to place 45th (34:43.8/+3), while Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) dropped six spots to place 51st (35:14.1/+6). Full men's pursuit results are available here.

Team USA had two competitors in the women's 10k pursuit, with rookie Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) starting in 40th position, 2:30 minutes back of the leader, and Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) right behind her in 42nd, 2:35 back. However, both athletes had trouble finding their rhythm on the shooting range with Dunklee missing six targets and Egan missing seven. Dunklee was able to move up in the standings to finish 34th in 34:05.8, while Egan dropped to 52nd, crossing the line in 36:36.9.

"Tonight we had the best conditions we've seen yet with icy, fast snow and manageable levels of wind on the range," Dunklee said. "My shooting percentage was nothing special but I am satisfied with how I executed my race plan. That is a big improvement from yesterday. I was relaxed and enjoyed the thrill of chasing people down; it felt more like my normal self."

Marie Dorin Habert of France, who had her first-ever career victory in Saturday's sprint, doubled up on Sunday by winning the women's pursuit. She led from wire to wire to take the gold medal in 30:07.5 with three penalties. The silver medal went to Germany's Laura Dahlmeier, with two penalties, 15.3 seconds back. Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak of Poland won her second medal of the week, taking bronze with three penalties, 31.6 seconds behind Dorin Habert.

The IBU World Championships presented by BMW resume on Wednesday with the women's 15k individual race. The race will be streamed live on Eurovision, beginning at 12:15 p.m. EDT, with English commentary by Chad Salmela. In the meantime, catch a recap of the first three days of competition on the Universal Sports Network as they broadcast highlights from the mixed relay, sprint and pursuit races. See the broadcast schedule below.

Men's 12.5km pursuit

1. Erik Lesser (GER) 30:47.9/+0
2. Anton Shipulin (RUS) 31:04.9/+1
3. Tarjei Boe (NOR) 31:06.6/+1
20. Tim Burke (Paul Smith, N.Y.) 32:36.0/+4
36. Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) 33:50.5/+5
45. Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) 34:43.8/+3
51. Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) 35:14.1/+6

Women's 10km pursuit

1. Marie Dorin Habert (FRA) 30:07.7/+3
2. Laura Dahlmeier (GER) 30:23.0/+2
3. Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak (POL) 30:39.3/+3
34.  Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) 34:05.8/+6
52. Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) 36:36.9/+7

Broadcast schedule

Date

Eurovision (Live Stream)

Universal Sports

Mar. 5

Mixed relay: 11:15 a.m.

 

Mar. 7

Men’s sprint: 7:00 a.m.

Women’s sprint: 10:30 a.m.

 

Mar. 8

Men’s pursuit: 8:15 a.m.

Women’s pursuit: 11:00 a.m.

 

Mar. 9

 

Mixed relay (from Mar. 5): 8-9 p.m.

Mar. 10

 

Men’s sprint & pursuit (from Mar. 7-8): 8-9 p.m.

Mar. 11

Women’s individual: 12:15 p.m.

Women’s sprint & pursuit (from Mar. 7-8): 8-9 p.m.

Mar. 12

Men’s individual: 12:15 p.m.

 

Mar. 13

Women’s relay: 12:15 p.m.

 

Mar. 14

Men’s relay: 11:30 a.m.

Men’s relay (same-day): 7-8 p.m.

Mar. 15

Women’s mass start: 8:30 a.m.

Men’s mass start: 11:00 a.m.

Women’s mass start (same-day): 6-7 p.m.

Men’s mass start (same-day): 7-8 p.m.

 

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