HOCHFILZEN, Austria - Lowell Bailey continued his strong start to the IBU World Cup season Friday with a 14th-place in the 10-kilometer sprint that vaulted the Lake Placid biathlete to sixth overall in the World Cup standings.
Bailey posted a time of 25:34.3 (0+1) to finish 52.4 seconds behind the winner Carl Johan Bergman of Sweden who recorded a 24:41.2 with clean shooting.
"I felt better on the shooting range today and was able to carry through both stages in the way I had planned," Bailey said. "In Ostersund, I struggled a bit with 'typewriter' legs on some of the standing stages, but today I felt pretty stable and was able to shoot faster. Overall, I'm happy with the result and looking forward to tomorrow's pursuit."
Bailey opened last week's season-opening World Cup in Ostersund, Sweden with a fifth-place finish in the 10-kilometer sprint. It was the top finish of his career.
Paul Smiths native Tim Burke finished 42nd Friday with a time of 26.28.5 (0+3).
"Today was one of those days when the targets just don't want to go down," Burke said. "I felt fine in the standing shooting and was surprised that I was missing. At least I managed to limit my losses with strong skiing so I am not too far back for tomorrow's pursuit."
"This was another great performance from Lowell Bailey. It was a really tight race today, with a lot of athletes skiing at the same level and shooting really well," said U.S. National Team coach Armin Auchentaller. "We think that Tim had a really good performance as well, and everything is possible for tomorrow. We will fight again for tomorrow, and go for points."
Alaskan Jay Hakkinen finished 45th with a 26.27.7 (1+1), while Leif Nordgren of Minnesota finished 97th at 28:18.2 (3+2). Hakkinen, Burke and Bailey will start for Team USA in today's pursuit that begins at 5 a.m. EST.
"I'm really happy with the development of Leif," said U.S. Biathlon High Performance Director Bernd Eisenbichler. "The shooting wasn't there today for him, but the skiing was a big step forward from Ostersund, so the next few weeks will be much better for him.
"Jay had a solid one, as did Tim. Overall, a good team performance and we are in good positions for the pursuit and looking forward to tomorrow."
The men are now ranked eighth in the Nations Cup. Sunday's relay will be the next event that effects the Nations Cup standings.
"Every second can make a big difference," Eisenbichler said."From place one to 54 it's only two minutes, so it's really close. For the pursuit, I think we have really good spots there with Lowell right in the front and Tim and Jay near to the points. I think it will be very exciting and a good pursuit."
Biathlon World Cup Results
At Hochfilzen, Austria
(Missed targets in parentheses)
1. Carl Johan Bergman, Sweden, 24 minutes, 41.9 seconds (0).
2. Andrei Makoveev, Russia, 9.2 seconds behind (0).
3. Benjamin Weger, Switzerland, 19.6 (0).
4. Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway, 21.5 (1).
5. Evgeny Ustyugov, Russia, 21.9 (1).
6. Tarjei Boe, Norway, 30.4 (0).
7. Florian Graf, Germany, 32.1 (0).
8. Bjoern Ferry, Sweden, 38.5 (0).
9. Alexis Boeuf, France, 38.6 (0).
10. Dmitry Malyshko, Russia, 43.4 (1).
14. Lowell Bailey, United States, 52.4 (1).
42. Tim Burke, United States, 1:36.6 (3).
45. Jay Hakkinen, United States, 1:45.8 (2).
97. Leif Nordgren, United States, 3:36.3 (5).
World Cup Sprint Standings
(After two of 10 races)
1. Carl Johan Bergman, Sweden, 120 points.
2. Tarjei Boe, Norway, 92.
3. Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway, 91.
4. Benjamin Weger, Switzerland, 76.
5. Andreas Birnbacher, Germany, 68.
6. Lowell Bailey, United States, 67.
25. Tim Burke, United States, 29.
52. Jay Hakkinen, United States, 2.
Overall World Cup Standings
(After four of 26 events)
1. Martin Fourcade, France, 182 points.
1. Carl Johan Bergman, Sweden, 182.
3. Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway, 165.
4. Tarjei Boe, Norway, 151.
5. Michal Slesingr, Czech Republic, 146.
6. Lowell Bailey, United States, 127.
24. Tim Burke, United States, 61.
34. Jay Hakkinen, United States, 42.