U.S. men 14th in world championship relay

Photos from the men's relay at the IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, on March 14, 2015

March 14, 2015, 12:52 p.m. (ET)

KONTIOLAHTI, Finland (March 14, 2015) - For more than half of Saturday's men's relay, the U.S. team was on pace to match or beat their season-best performance, but some late-race shooting woes resulted in a 14th place finish in the 4x7.5-kilometer race at the IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland.

Under clear skies and with no wind, Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) started the first leg of the race and rapidly moved up from his 20th start position to lead the 27-team field into the first shooting stage.

"The race started off relatively slow, which opened the door for me to move up through the field in the first few climbs," said Bailey. "I was surprised that the guys at the front weren't pushing the pace harder, and so, when the opportunity presented itself, I went to the front and just tried to keep a controlled pace until I got to the shooting range."

A clean round had Bailey in sixth place as he left the range, just 3.6 seconds back of the lead. Two misses at the standing stage knocked him back to ninth place, but he skied his way up to seventh position, 30.3 seconds from the head of the race as he tagged off to Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) for the second leg.

"On the shooting side, I was a little disappointed that I had to use two extra rounds to hit the one miss I had in standing," Bailey added. "It would have been nice to get out of the range with one less extra but that's how it goes."

At that point, the U.S. team was on pace to match or better their season-high relay finish of 8th place at the World Cup in Antholz, Italy. The situation looked even brighter after Nordgren had just one miss in prone to move up to fifth place, but another miss in standing put the team back to eighth as he exchanged with Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) for the third leg.

Burke had a solid round in the prone position, using just one spare, and left the range in ninth place, 47.6 seconds off the lead. However, it all came unraveled at the standing stage as Burke missed five targets, needing to use all three spares as well as ski two penalty loops. That put the U.S. out of contention in 16th place, now over two minutes back. Burke made up one spot before he tagged off to Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) for the anchor leg in 15th place.

The 19-year-old Doherty struggled in the prone shooting position with three misses but finished strong by cleaning the standing stage to move the team back up to 14th place at the finish in a time of 1:17:21.1.

The German men's team of Erik Lesser, Daniel Boehm, Arnd Peiffer and Simon Schempp won the gold medal a day after the German women's team captured their team relay. The men's squad used three spares and posted a winning time of 1:13:49.5. Norway captured the silver medal with six spares, 15.4 seconds back, while France took home the bronze medal, with four spares, 33.6 seconds behind.

Full men's relay results are available here.

The IBU World Championships presented by BMW conclude on Sunday with the men's and women's mass start races. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) will compete in the women's 12.5k mass start beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT, while Burke and Bailey will toe the line for the men's 15k race starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Both races will be streamed live on Eurovision with English commentary by Chad Salmela. See the broadcast schedule below for the live streams on Eurovision and the highlight packages on the Universal Sports Network.

Men's 4x7.5km relay

1. Germany (Lesser, Boehm, Peiffer, Schempp) 1:13:49.5/0+3
2. Norway (Bjoerndalen, T. Boe, J. Boe, Svendsen) 1:14:04.9/0+6
3. France (S. Fourcade, Beatrix, Fillon Maillet, M. Fourcade) 1:14:23.1/0+4
14. USA (Bailey, Nordgren, Burke, Doherty) 1:17:21.1/2+11

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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