OSTERSUND, Sweden - Two-time Olympian Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid opened Thursday's IBU Biathlon World Cup with a ninth-place finish in the 20-kilometer individual event. Crossing the finish line in 56 minutes, 27.2 seconds with just two misses at the range, Bailey finished just 2:57.4 back from the winner Martin Fourcade of France.
"I'm really happy with the way the race went," Bailey said. "We had really good preparation here in Sweden the last two weeks and I've had a really good year training. Everything came together today. I'm really happy today as I tied my personal best. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season, but today was a good way to start."
Three-time Olympian Jay Hakkinen of Alaska finished 18th, posting 56:27.2 (0+0+0+2) to match Bailey's performance on the range.
"Both of us had a reminder of what biathlon is today," Hakkinen said. "With one more shot, we both would have been top 5, and with clean shooting, we could have been towards the podium, but that just shows what great potential there is for this season."
Paul Smiths native Tim Burke and Leif Nordgren of Minnesota finished 58th (59:47.3/1+2+1+1) and 64th (1:00:01.1/3+1+0+0), respectively, as both were recovering from a cold.