US Biathlon Burke Posts Season-B...

Burke Posts Season-Best 6th in Khanty-Mansiysk Sprint

March 18, 2016, 11:59 a.m. (ET)

Photos from the men's sprint on March 18, 2016, at BMW IBU World Cup 9 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

KHANTY-MANSIYSK, Russia (March 18, 2016) - Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) had the fifth-fastest total course time to help him race to a season-best sixth-place finish in the men's 10-kilometer sprint on Friday at BMW IBU World Cup 9 in Khanty-Mansiysk. Burke led all three U.S. competitors in qualifying for Saturday's 12.5km pursuit and helped the U.S. men's team nail down sixth place in the Nations Cup standings.

After an afternoon of steady snowfall, a beautiful Siberian sunset filled the clearing sky as the men started the final sprint competition of the season. Almost no wind at the shooting range provided excellent shooting conditions.

Burke was the fourth athlete out of the start house and got off to a great start among the early competitors. He cleaned prone and his only miss of the day at the shooting range came on his fourth shot in standing. Although that dashed any hopes for a podium, Burke did not let that distract him from the task at hand as he turned in the fourth-fastest course time on the final lap to finish strong in a time of 25 minutes, 11.2 seconds.

"Today was a great day for the team for many reasons," said Burke. "Of course, I am very happy with my 6th-place finish but I am even happier about the men's team securing sixth place in the Nations Cup score. This is a huge accomplishment for the entire team and it has been incredible to see the progression of this team during my career. Also, hats off today to our ski technicians. We have a small staff here in Russia and these guys put us on the best skis in the race. Top-10 results are not possible on OK skis, so I owe a lot to the technicians. I'm feeling good and looking forward to the next two races."

Burke's time was 52.6 seconds behind Austria's Julian Eberhard who shot clean to win his first World Cup title in 24:18.6. Germany's Simon Schempp finished second, 1.1 seconds back, while teammate Arnd Peiffer was third, 23 seconds behind Eberhard. Both German athletes also shot clean.

Joining Burke in Saturday's pursuit will be Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) and Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.). Doherty finished 21st in 25:56.9, while Bailey was 31st in 26:14. Both had two penalties on the range.

"I was a bit disappointed with the prone misses but I felt great on the skis and I kept the focus up," Doherty said. "It was a good overall race and I am excited for the pursuit."

"Not my best today, but happy to be in the pursuit," added Bailey. "We are all really happy to finalize our sixth-place Nations Cup placing today. That's the best ever team showing for the U.S. men. Congrats to my teammates, coaches, and staff. It takes a lot of support just to get to the start line at a World Cup, let alone compete with some of the best teams in the world. Thanks to all of the fans for cheering us on throughout the season. On to the pursuit."

The BMW IBU World Cup 9 continues on Saturday with the men's and women's pursuits. The women's 10km race begins at 7:50 a.m. EDT, followed by the men's 12.5km event at 9:30 a.m. EDT. Both races will be streamed live on Eurovision with English commentary by Chad Salmela.

Men's 10km sprint results

1. Julian Eberhard (AUT) 24:18.6/+0
2. Simon Schempp (GER) 24:19.7/+0
3. Arnd Peiffer (GER) 24:41.6/+0
6. Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) 25:11.2/+1
21. Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) 25:56.9/+2
31. Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) 26:14.0/+2

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