US Biathlon Top-10 result puts E...

Top-10 result puts Egan in reach of Olympic Qualification

By Bill Kellick | Dec. 18, 2020, 2:22 p.m. (ET)


Clare Egan races in the women's sprint at the BMW IBU World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria, on Dec. 18, 2020 (photo by Nordic Focus)

HOCHFILZEN, Austria (Dec. 18, 2020) – With her second consecutive top-10 sprint finish at Friday’s BMW IBU World Cup, Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) became the first U.S. biathlete to meet the standards set for early qualification to the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team at the end of the season. Early qualification is available for up to two athletes who meet the standards of the U.S. Biathlon selection procedures, in this case, two top-12 finishes at an IBU World Cup race during the 2020-21 season.

One week after placing 10th in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint, Egan once again tore through the Hochfilzen course today en route to a career-best sprint finish, placing ninth with a single standing penalty, 46.4 seconds back of winner Tiril Eckhoff of Norway and just 22 seconds from the bronze medal.

“Today was another beautiful day for biathlon,” said Egan. “I had excellent skis once again so a big thanks to our wax team. I’ve finally figured out a way to ski this course that works for me, so I just went out and did my thing again.”

Egan posted the best time through the prone shooting in the 106-woman field and her ski time on the course was tied for 10th-best, just 39 seconds back of Eckhoff who led Norway to a podium sweep along with teammates Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland.

“I’m really happy with my performance and also with my result,” added Egan. “Sometimes those two things don’t line up, so when they do it’s a great feeling.”

Hochfilzen, the site of historic American performances at past world championships, continues to be magical this season with U.S. athletes posting career-best results and top-10 finishes. For Egan, she is approaching meeting the Olympic pre-qualification standards with a veteran mindset, having learned valuable lessons during her first Olympic qualification for the Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

“Olympic qualification standards are not a focus of mine,” Egan stated. “I got stuck in that trap in 2018 and I think it made me aim for the minimum I needed to achieve rather than the maximum that I could achieve. I’m aiming higher now and open to more possibilities. Of course, if I find myself doing biathlon in 2021-22, the pre-qualification won’t change how I approach the summer training or the winter competitions. Representing my country is an honor every day, whether during a training session or at the Olympic Games.”

Egan will now turn her focus to Saturday’s 10km women’s pursuit, where she will be joined by teammate and fellow 2018 Olympian Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), who missed one shot in each trip to the range and placed 46th in Friday’s sprint (+1:47.1/+2). The U.S. team will also have two athletes in tomorrow’s men’s 12.5km pursuit with Leif Nordgren (Hinesburg, Vt.) starting 1:43 back and Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) leaving the start line 2:16 back.

Following Saturday’s pursuit races, the BMW IBU World Cup in Hochfilzen wraps up on Sunday with the men’s and women’s 30-person mass start races. Clare Egan is well-positioned to receive s start number for Sunday’s race. Events can be streamed live on Peacocktv.com or the NBC Olympic Channel. Replays are available after each event on https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/ibu/.

Women’s 7.5km sprint results

1.

Tiril Eckhoff (NOR)

19:38.0/+1

2.

Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (NOR)

+7.6/+0

3.

Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (NOR)

+24.6/+1

9.

Clare Egan(Cape Elizabeth, Maine)

+46.4/+1

46.

Susan Dunklee(Barton, Vt.)

+1:47.1/+2

73.

Joanne Reid(Grand Junction, Colo.)

+2:34.2/+3

93.

Deedra Irwin(Pulaski, Wis.)

+3:17.1/+3


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