Clean-Shooting Levins 4th In Youth Olympic Games Pursuit

Photos from the men's and women's sprint races on February 15, 2016, at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway

Feb. 15, 2016, 11:27 a.m. (ET)

LILLEHAMMER, Norway (February 15, 2016) - Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.) was the only woman in the field of 49 to hit all 20 targets and had the fastest net time of all athletes en route to a fourth-place finish in Monday's 7.5-kilometer pursuit at the Winter Youth Olympic Games at the Birkebeineren Biathlon Stadium. Her superb marksmanship allowed Levins to move up 18 places from her 22nd start position, finishing with a time of 25 minutes, 47.6 seconds, just 34.7 seconds back of winner Khrystyna Dmytrenko of Ukraine.

"The pursuit in Lillehammer today was a dream," Levins said. "As Susan (Dunklee) said earlier in the season, every race is a team effort. We had great skis and excellent conditions for today’s race. My race was made on the shooting range. Of course, it is bittersweet to be close to the podium in 4th position, but I shot clean and skied well, so it is an incredibly satisfying result."

"Chloe was disapointed about yesterday's race," said U.S. Coach Jean Paquet. "Today she said she was mad and wanted to make it up. She was focused and had the determination on her face. She was perfect on the range and she kept a strong pace on the skis."
 

Dmytrenko missed just twice in the first prone to claim the gold with a time of 25:12.9. The silver medal went to Norway's Marthe Krakstad Johansen, with four penalties, 7.5 seconds back, while France's Lou Jeanmonnot Laurent captured the bronze, 7.6 seconds back of Dmytrenko with two penalties.

Amanda Kautzer (Plymouth, Minn.), who was 10th in yesterday's sprint, struggled at the range with eight penalties in today's pursuit to drop her back to 27th in a time of 29:17.1.

In the men's 10km pursuit, Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Mich.) also was on fire at the range, hitting 19 of 20 targets to improve 16 places from his start position to 20th place with a time of 32:04.9. Teammate Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash.) placed 45th in a time of 36:24.1, with six penalties.

"Vasek also made a great comeback with 95 percent shooting score and a good skiing performance," Paquet said. "He looked more at ease on the skis and liked the fight on the course. He gained 16 positions by shooting well on the shooting range."

Sivert Guttorm Bakken of Norway, with one penalty after each stage, won the pursuit gold medal in the men's pursuit in 28:10.7. Sprint bronze medalist Egor Tutmin of Russia, with five penalties, won the silver medal, 1:10.7 back. His teammate, Said Karimulla Khalili, matched Bakken on the shooting range, moving up from the sixth start position to win bronze, 1:17.7 back of Bakken.

Full sprint results are available here.

The strong performance by the U.S. team bodes well for the future of American biathlon.

"Amanda’s top-10 yesterday, Vasek’s 19 hits today, and my clean shooting are all validation that biathlon development in the United States is headed in the right direction," added Levins.

Competition resumes on Wednesday with the single mixed relay which will be streamed live on the International Olympic Committee's YouTube channel. NBC Sports is also airing daily highlights of the Youth Olympic Games competition. Full broadcast details are available here.

Women's 7.5km pursuit results

1. Khrystyna Dmytrenko (UKR) 25:12.9/+2
2. Marthe Krakstad Johansen (NOR) 25:20.4/+4
3. Lou Jeanmonnot Laurent (FRA) 25:20.5/+2
4. Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.) 25:47.6/+0
27. Amanda Kautzer (Plymouth, Minn.) 29:17.1/+8

Men's 10km sprint results

1. Sivert Guttorm Bakken (NOR) 28:10.7/+4
2. Egor Tutmin (RUS) 29:21.4/+5
3. Said Karimulla Khalili (RUS) 29:28.4/+4
20. Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn.) 32:04.9/+1
45. Eli Nielsen (Stehekin, Wash.) 36:24.1/+6