US Biathlon Bailey 15th in Oeste...

Bailey 15th in Oestersund Pursuit

By Bill Kellick | Dec. 04, 2016, 9:23 a.m. (ET)

Photos from the men's and women's pursuit races at BMW IBU World Cup 1

OESTERSUND, Sweden (December 4, 2016) – Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) gained 26 World Cup points with a 15th-place finish in Sunday's men's 12.5-kilometer pursuit race as the BMW IBU World Cup 1 came to a close in Oestersund, Sweden. The result moved Bailey up to ninth in total World Cup score with 80 points.

Starting the day in 13th-place position following Saturday's sprint, Bailey cleaned his first three shooting stages to move up to fourth place out on course, just six seconds out of second place, but a heartbreaking two misses in the final shooting stage bumped him back to 15th at the finish. His time of 32 minutes, 44.1 seconds was 1:21.8 behind the winning time of Russia's Anton Babikov.

"The race went well today," said Bailey. "Happy with the result but wish I could have those first two shots in the last standing back. I just had a momentary lapse for a couple of shots. Other than that, I'm happy with the way the first World Cup races have gone and looking forward to the sun that awaits us in Pokljuka."

Bailey was also pleased with his World Cup ranking after the season opener.

"I have been ranked this high in the past coming out of Ostersund, but I am definitely happy with the solid start to the season. You train all season in a bit of a vacuum - just you and your teammates - and there is very little for you compare yourself to. Because of this, the start of the season can be a bit of an unknown. I'm happy to see that my ski times are competitive and that I'm able to reach the podium on a great day."  

Babikov, the 2015-16 Rookie of the Year, had his first-ever World Cup victory in 31:22.3 with one penalty. His teammate, Maxim Tsvetkov, shot clean to finish second, 10.5 seconds back. Third place went to France's Martin Fourcade, 15.2 seconds behind Babikov with four penalties. Full men's pursuit results are available here.

Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.), who started the pursuit in 29th position, slipped six places to finish 35th with four misses and a time of 34:01.5.

In the women's 10km pursuit, all three U.S. athletes improved on their starting positions. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) climbed five places to 22nd, hitting 15 of 20 targets on the range, Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) moved up 14 places to 30th with 17 for 20 shooting, and Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) climbed six places by hitting 16 targets.

"Prone was a struggle for me today but luckily I had plenty of people around me and could keep my head in the race," Dunklee said. "Our women all moved up a few positions and we look forward to seeing more sunshine next week in Slovenia."

Gabriela Koukalova of Czech Republic won the women's pursuit in 31:43.3, with one penalty. Germany's Laura Dahlmeier challenged on the last loop but finished second, 8.4 seconds back with two penalties. Third place went to Italy's clean-shooting Dorothea Wierer, 21.4 seconds back, moving her up from 19th at the start. Full women's pursuit results are available here.

The biathletes will be back in action again next weekend as the BMW IBU World Cup 2 takes place Dec. 9-11 in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Men’s 12.5km pursuit results

1.

Anton Babikov (RUS)

31:22.3/+1

2.

Maxim Tsvetkov (RUS)

+10.5/+0

3.

Martin Fourcade (FRA)

+15.2/+4

15.

Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.)

+1:21.8/+2

35.

Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)

+2:39.2/+4


Women’s 10km pursuit results

1.

Gabriela Koukalova (CZE)

31:43.3/+1

2.

Laura Dahlmeier (GER)

+8.4/+2

3.

Dorothea Wierer (ITA)

+21.4/+0

22.

Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)

+2:55.7/+5

30.

Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)

+3:35.4/+3

47.

Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.)

+4:59.6/+4

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