Dunklee, Egan Bound for Oberhof Pursuit

Photos from the women's sprint on Jan. 6, 2017 at BMW IBU World Cup 4 in Oberhof, Germany

By Bill Kellick | Jan. 06, 2017, 10:28 a.m. (ET)

OBERHOF, Germany (January 6, 2017) – Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) and Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) overcame rough performances on the shooting range Friday to qualify for tomorrow's pursuit race. Dunklee placed 50th and Egan was 52nd in the women's 7.5-kilometer sprint at the BMW IBU World Cup in Oberhof, the first competition since the holiday break.

After a stormy, windy day Thursday and overnight snow, the competitors were treated to a sunny afternoon marked by 15-degree temperatures and welcoming, calm wind flags on the shooting range.

"Oberhof was the most beautiful I have ever seen it with great snow, almost no wind and plenty of sunshine," commented Dunklee.

Dunklee started with two missed targets in prone and ended with another two misses in standing to finish 2 minutes, 36.3 seconds off the lead.

"I felt a little rusty after the break, particularly on the shooting range," Dunklee said. "I don't think the jet lag helped matters either. Missing two in prone is already more mistakes than I want in a race, but that just make it more important to ski hard and come into the range fully focused for standing."

Egan also missed two targets from prone but regrouped for a clean round in standing and crossed the line with a time just four seconds behind Dunklee. 

"I for one am just happy to clean in standing," said Egan. "I changed my whole standing position before Christmas break and had only two weeks to practice it. Today my prone was off and my skiing a bit sluggish, but the work I put in on my new standing position is already paying off and that's what I needed to see."

Czech Republic's Gabriela Koukalova shot clean for her second straight victory, covering the course in 21:56.9. Kaisa Makarainen of Finland finished second with two penalties, 21 seconds back. France's Marie Dorin Habert grabbed the last spot on the podium, 23.7 seconds behind Koukalova, with one penalty. Full women's sprint results are available here.

Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.) did not start Friday's race due to illness. 

"Today was cold, calm and sunny with a stadium full of fans -- a great day for biathlon," added Egan. "Unfortunately, it was not a great day for our team as Joanne is sick and neither Susan nor I achieved the results we came for. We have another chance tomorrow in the pursuit and will be out for redemption."

The BMW IBU World Cup 4 continues on Saturday with the men's and women's pursuits. 7.5k sprint. The men's 12.5k race, featuring Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)and Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine) begins at 5:30 a.m. EST, followed by Dunklee and Egan competing in the women's 10k race at 8:40 a.m. EST. Live streaming coverage of the races can be seen at www.eurovisionsports.tv/ibu.

Women’s 7.5km sprint results

1.

Gabriela Koukalova (CZE)

22:28.5/+0

2.

Kaisa Makarainen (FIN)

+21.3/+2

3.

Marie Dorin Habert (FRA)

+24.0/+1

50. 

Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)

+2:36.3/+4

52.

Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)

+2:40.5/+2

DNS. 

Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.)