Americans earn relay bronze in biathlon WC
NOVE MESTO, Czech Republic — Susan Dunklee of Barton, Vermont, and Sean Doherty of Conway, New Hampshire combined to give the United States its first medal in the single mixed relay since 2017 as the BMW IBU World Cup wrapped up two weeks of competition in Nove Mesto on Sunday. Dunklee was part of the previous podium appearance as well when she teamed up with Lake Placid’s Lowell Bailey for a silver medal four years ago.
Dunklee led the pack after a perfect first prone stage with Switzerland’s Elisa Gasparin and Sweden’s Linn Persson right behind. With the wind swirling, Dunklee needed three spares to get through the standing stage of the opening leg and made the first exchange with Doherty in sixth place, but just 11.8 seconds off the lead.
“My single mixed relay strategy is to take some risk on the shooting range,” Dunklee said. “I think that’s the only way to create an opportunity in this race format.”
Doherty brought the team back with just one spare used on the second leg and tagged off to Dunklee in third position, 16.6 seconds off the pace. Dunklee went clean again from prone and needed one spare in standing to bring the team neck-and-neck with Norway at the final exchange.
On the anchor leg, Doherty used one spare round in prone and another spare in standing to secure the bronze medal for Team USA, as he crossed the line 26.1 seconds back of the pair from Sweden, who edged Norway by 1.5 seconds at the finish.