Nordgren, Doherty Top 20 in 20km With Career Bests at World Championships

By Bill Kellick | March 13, 2019, 2:37 p.m. (ET)

Sean Doherty 2019 20km
Sean Doherty gets into his tuck during the men's 20-kilometer individual race (photo by NordicFocus)

OSTERSUND, Sweden (March 13, 2019) – Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) both posted their highest career finishes at an IBU Biathlon World Championship on Wednesday in the men's 20-kilometer individual. Nordgren's 16th-place finish and Doherty's 17th-place performance also secured them starting spots in the 30-man field for Sunday's mass start, giving the U.S. four starting spots along with Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.) in the women's race.

For Nordgren, whose previous best finish at a world championships was 17th in the mass start back in 2011, Wednesday's performance was a welcome relief to a somewhat frustrating championship week thus far.

"It definitely hasn't been the best championships for me before today," Nordgren admitted. "I had a disaster in the mixed relay, the sprint was alright, but then bad again in the pursuit. I've had a pretty up and down season so I wasn't really sure what to expect coming into these championships, but anything can happen in an individual."

The 103-man field lined up for their toughest test of the week in challenging conditions, with light snow blowing across the shooting range in various directions. Only two competitors were able to clean all 20 targets, and Nordgren was one of only eight to miss just one, finishing 3 minutes, 15.7 seconds off the winning time.

"The conditions today were definitely not easy and unforgiving for any mistakes," added Nordgren. "We had maybe three to four inches of new snow that had fallen throughout the day, and the wind was back and forth and gusty at times. I felt like I had a really good handle on the wind after zeroing, though, and during the race I just trusted the training that I've done. I'm not in the best ski shape, but I felt like I paced the race perfectly. We had excellent skis today which was a major help in such tough, slow conditions."

Doherty bested his previous high world championship finish of 20th, set just three days ago in the pursuit. He had two penalties on the range, both in standing, to finish three seconds behind Nordgren.

"I am very proud to put together a strong shooting performance with the challenges presented by the weather," said Doherty. "I am very happy for Leif as well. Great to see him showcase his shooting skill. It bodes well for the relay."

Also competing for the U.S. in the men's 20km individual were world championship newcomers Jake Brown (Saint Paul, Minn.) and Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.). Brown placed 68th and Howe was 84th.

Germany's Arnd Peiffer was one of the two competitors to shoot clean, helping him win the gold medal in 52:42.4. Vladimir Iliev of Bulgaria, with one penalty, won the silver medal, 1:08.7 back, while Tarjei Boe of Norway, also with one penalty, just missed out on the silver medal, .4 seconds behind Iliev.

On Thursday, Doherty will team up with Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) for the single mixed relay starting at 12:10 p.m. EDT.

WAYS TO WATCH:

The live and same-day (SDD)  broadcast schedule for the March 7-17 IBU Biathlon World Championships is as follows:

Times all EST

Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA

3/7 10:15-11:45a (LIVE)

3/8 10:15-11:45a (LIVE)

3/9 10:30a-12p (LIVE)

3/10 8:45-9:45a (SDD), 11:30a-12:30p (LIVE)

3/12 10:30a-12:30p (LIVE)

3/13 11a-1p (LIVE)

3/14 12-1p (LIVE)

3/16 12:30-2:30p (SDD)

3/17 10-11a (SDD), 11a-12p (LIVE)

 

NBCSN:

3/7 4-5p (SDD)

3/8 1-2:30p (SDD)

3/13 4-5p (SDD)

3/14 1-2a (SDD)

3/17 1-2a (SDD)

 

In addition to these broadcast air times, streams will be available on all digital platforms: desktop via NBCSports.com/Gold, and mobile, tablet and connected television platforms via the NBC Sports app. Broadcast simulstreams will be available on NBCSports.com/live (http://stream.nbcsports.com/nbc/watch-olympic-channel) and the NBC Sports app (and do not require a Gold subscription to watch).

The NBC Sports Gold premium package will give paid subscribers commercial-free access to each event across the span of the competition. Users can subscribe to the NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass here:https://www.nbcsports.com/gold/snow.

Replay with commentary is also available thru www.eurovisionsports.tv/ibu.

Men's 20km individual results

1.

Arnd Peiffer (GER)

52:42.4/+0

2.

Vladimir Iliev (BUL)

+1:08.7/+1

3.

Tarjei Boe (NOR)

+1:09.1/+1

16.

Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.)

+3:15.7/+1

17. Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.)
+3:18.5/+2
68.
Jake Brown (Saint Paul, Minn.)
+9:18.4/+7
84.
Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.) +11:44.4/+6