Burke and Currier Qualify for Oberhof Pursuit

Photos of the men's 10k sprint at BMW IBU World Cup 4 in Oberhof, Germany

By Bill Kellick | Jan. 05, 2017, 11:26 a.m. (ET)

OBERHOF, Germany (January 5, 2017) – Americans Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) and Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine) finished 35th and 46th, respectively, in Thursday's men's 10-kilometer sprint as the BMW IBU World Cup 4 opened in Oberhof. Both athletes qualified for Saturday's men's 12.5k pursuit by virtue of finishing among the top 60 in the 102-man field.

The competitors were met with challenging conditions. Heavy snowfall, cold temperatures and strong winds at the shooting range resulted in only two of the 102 athletes shooting clean. Burke hit eight of 10 targets, with his only two misses coming in the standing position, and crossed the line one minute, 51.8 seconds behind winner Julian Eberhard of Austria.

"The heavy snow and gusty wind made for a challenging race today," said Burke. "We were lucky that the snow stopped right before the start today, but this also made for some challenging conditions on the track throughout the race. I feel like I was lucky in prone with having little wind, but standing was a real fight with strong wind and it took me a long time to get all five shots off."

Eberhard won the race in 26:57.5 with one penalty for his first victory of the season and second of his career. Czech Republic's Michal Slesingr finished in second with one penalty, 10.5 seconds back. Third place went to Dominik Windisch of Italy, also with one penalty, 40.3 seconds behind Eberhard.

"Overall, I was pleased with my shooting performance today considering the windy conditions," added Burke. "Unfortunately, I am far off my normal ski shape. I had one of my best training years, so I am a bit confused as to why I have been so flat racing, but I am confident that it will eventually come around. If we continue to have strong winds here in Oberhof, Saturday's pursuit should present some great opportunities to move up."

Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine) will join Burke in Saturday's pursuit race after finishing 46th with three penalties, 2:15.1 back of Eberhard. It was Currier's highest World Cup sprint result in four years. Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) made his World Cup season debut and placed 80th with three penalties, 3:20.2 off the lead. Full men's sprint results are available here.

Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) is not competing in Oberhof as he puts in some additional training at his home in Lake Placid and will join the team next weekend in Ruhpolding. 

The BMW IBU World Cup 4 continues on Friday with the women's 7.5k sprint. Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) will be in action for Team USA. The women's sprint begins at 8:15 a.m. EST and live streaming coverage of the race can be seen at www.eurovisionsports.tv/ibu.

Men’s 10km sprint results

1.

Julian Eberhard (AUT)

26:57.5/+1

2.

Michal Slesingr (CZE)

+10.8/+1

3.

Dominik Windisch (ITA)

+40.3/+1

35. 

Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)

+1:51.8/+2

46.

Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine)

+2:15.1/+3

80.

Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.)

+3:20.2/+3