Season-Best 4th for Dunklee in Oslo Sprint

By Bill Kellick | March 15, 2018, 11:47 a.m. (ET)

OSLO-HOLMENKOLLEN, Norway (March 15, 2018) –Clean shooting propelled Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) to her best finish of the season on Thursday in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint as the BMW IBU World Cup 8 opened in Norway. Dunklee placed fourth, just 6.5 seconds off the podium, hitting all 10 of her targets in the shooting range.

“The post-Olympic World Cups are filled with opportunity because so many athletes are feeling run down,” said Dunklee. “The last couple months haven’t been easy. I’m relying a lot on habits to carry me through; luckily I’ve built some good ones over the years.”

It also helps that Dunklee has a fondness for the track in Oslo as she has set herself up in good position for Sunday’s 10 km pursuit.

“I’ve always loved Oslo,” Dunklee added. “The course suits my strengths and the crowd creates a great atmosphere. It’s very heartening to put together a great race after a challenging season, and there’s another great opportunity on Sunday.”

Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia came back from a prone penalty to win the women’s sprint with just a single penalty in 21 minutes, 31.8 seconds. Darya Domracheva of Belarus finished second, 8.9 seconds back, while Yuliia Dzhyma of Ukraine placed third, 29.2 seconds behind Kuzmina. Both Domracheva and Dzhyma shot clean. Dunklee was 35.7 seconds back of the winning time.

Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) was 68th, Joanne Reid (Palo Alto, Calif.) finished 75th, and Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.) crossed the line in 83rd.

In the men’s 10 km sprint held later in the day, the U.S. qualified four athletes for Saturday’s pursuit, led by Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) with a top-20 finish in 14th. It was Doherty’s best-ever finish at an IBU World Cup held outside the United States. He shot clean to cross the line 47.1 seconds back of winner Henrik L’Abee-Lund of Norway.

“My skiing has been strong and I am feeling some good momentum at the end of the season here,” said Doherty. “When the shooting comes together, then all the pieces are there for a good race. Now it’s just to keep sharp for the last two events here in Norway and keep the pressure on the guys in front of me.”

Joining Doherty in Saturday’s 12.5 km pursuit for Team USA will be Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) who was 42nd, Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) who was 43rd, and Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) who placed 57th. Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.) finished outside the pursuit qualification in 89th.

L’Abee-Lund outskied and outshot all of the big names to claim his first-ever World Cup win, easily closing all 10 targets in 26:10.3. His teammate Johannes Thingnes Boe, with one penalty, finished second, 6.1 seconds back. Third place went to Martin Fourcade of France, shooting clean, 6.9 seconds behind L’Abee-Lund.

After a rest day on Friday, action in Oslo resumes on Saturday. The women’s 4x6 km relay begins at 7:30 a.m. EST, followed by the men’s 12.5 km pursuit at 10:15 a.m. Both races will be streamed live on the Olympic Channel website.

Women’s 7.5k sprint results

1.

Anastasiya Kuzmina (SVK)

21:31.8/+1

2.

Darya Domracheva (BLR)

+8.9/+0

3.

Yuliia Dzhima (UKR)

+29.2/+0

4.

Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.)

+35.7/+0

68.

Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)

+2:44.8/+3

75.

Joanne Reid (Palo Alto, Calif.)

+3:02.2/+3

83.

Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.)

+3:24.8/+3

 

Men’s 10k sprint results

1.

Henrik L’Abee-Lund (NOR)

26:10.3/+0

2.

Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR)

+6.1/+1

3.

Martin Fourcade (FRA)

+6.9/+0

14.

Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.)

+47.1/+0

42.

Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.)

+1:41.1/+2

43.

Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.)

+1:43.3/+1

57.

Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.)

+2:12.8/+4

89.

Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.)

+3:39.5/+4