Top-20 Finishes for Bailey and Nordgren in Kontiolahti Sprint

By Bill Kellick | March 08, 2018, 9:12 p.m. (ET)


Leif Nordgren warms up for the men's sprint at the IBU World Cup in Kontiolahti, Finland.

KONTIOLAHTI, Finland (March 8, 2018) – In their first competition since the PyeongChang Winter Games, Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) turned in top-20 performances on Thursday in the men’s 10-kilometer sprint as the BMW IBU World Cup 7 opened under the lights in Kontiolahti, Finland.

Bailey placed 16th in 24 minutes, 40 seconds, with Nordgren right behind him in 17th, 1.5 seconds back. Both had just one penalty on the shooting range. Their performances earned Bailey and Nordgren berths in the 30-man field for Sunday’s 15k mass start.

“I felt pretty good on the tracks and in the range today,” said Bailey. “I had a good block of training at home in Lake Placid and I know I’ve had a good season of training behind me, so I’m glad to put together a good ski time and solid range performance.”

Bailey was also spurred on by some friendly faces in the Kontiolahti stands.

“Glad to have my wife Erika, daughter Ophelia, and dad George here in the stands tonight cheering me on,” he said. “It always makes the racing a little more meaningful when you have your family cheering you on.”

For Nordgren, today’s result was one of the best of his career, eclipsed only by a 16th place at a world cup sprint in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, during the 2014-15 season. It also equals a 17th-place performance in the mass start at the 2011 IBU World Championships and a 17th-place finish in a world cup pursuit three years ago. Both of those results came in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

Russia’s Anton Shipulin shot clean to win the men’s 10k sprint in 23:51.6. Second place went to Andrejs Rastorgujevs of Latvia, also shooting clean, 5.8 seconds back. Quentin Fillon Maillet of France shot clean to pick up his second podium of the season in third place, 17.3 seconds behind Shipulin.

Other Americans in action on Thursday were Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) in 35th with three penalties, Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) in 38th, also with three penalties, and Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.) in 68th, who had just two penalties in the first world cup race of his career.

The U.S. women’s team will toe the line on Friday for the 7.5k sprint. Racing for Team USA will be Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), Joanne Reid (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.). Live streaming coverage can be seen at 11:45 a.m. EST on the Olympic Channel website.

Men’s 10k sprint results

1.

Anton Shipulin (RUS)

23:51.6/+0

2.

Andrejs Rastorgujevs (LAT)

+5.8/+0

3.

Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA)

+17.3/+0

16.

Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.)

+48.4/+1

17.

Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.)

+49.9/+1

35.

Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.)

+1:29.7/+3

38.

Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)

+1:36.1/+3

68.

Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.)

+2:23.1/+2