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US Biathlon Names World Cup Team for Trimester 1

Emily Dreissigacker (Craftsbury Green Racing Project/USBA B-team) racing to fifth in the women’s sprint at 2017 US Biathlon Rollerski Championships on Aug. 12 in Jericho, Vt. (Photo: John Lazenby/Lazenbyphoto.com)

(Note: The following has been updated to include comments from US Biathlon Chief of Sport Bernd Eisenbichler and Joanne Reid.)

On Tuesday, US Biathlon’s International Competition Committee (ICC) met to finalize its team for the first trimester of International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup racing (World Cups 1, 2 and 3), selecting five men and four women.

According to a team press release, Paul Schommer (who was named to US Biathlon’s A 3 Team in April) will join Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Leif Nordgren, and Sean Doherty on the men’s team, while Kelsey Dickinson (who won US Biathlon’s rollerski trials) and B-team member Emily Dreissigacker will join Susan Dunklee and Clare Egan on the women’s team. Notably, Joanne Reid (A 3 Team), who was also in the running for World Cup starts, was not selected for the first trimester of racing.

In an email, US Biathlon Chief of Sport Bernd Eisenbichler explained that the decision to take Schommer was more straightforward than choosing between Dreissigacker and Reid.

“[Schommer] was the clear winner of the trials and showed a good and improving level as well as really good attitude throughout the whole training season, so it was a very logical and clear call,” he Eisenbichler.

“It was very tight between Emily and Joanne,” he continued. “We collected a lot of data over the training period for both and looked at that as well as on all the races they competed against each other, especially on the last ones in Canmore. Analysing all of that together, Emily just a had a very tiny advantage over Joanne.”

Reid struggled with health issues during the offseason and “missed some key training” as a result, Eisenbichler explained. “But the last weeks in Canmore showed already that she is on the right track back to a good performance level. We feel that she needs still a good training block now to make sure she is on top of her game from Jan. – March. We all know about her potential and capacity and are not worried about her coming back strong in January.”

In an email, Reid focused on praising Dreissigacker.

“We are all incredibly proud of Emily, who absolutely, beyond a doubt, earned her stripes this year, Reid wrote. “The goal is to put the four women who will perform the best in World Cups 1-3 onto the World Cup team and Emily is one of those women.

“She’s a solid shooter, which is just as important as ski speed in this sport, and when the chips are down she performs,” she continued. “She’s a biathlete I would want on my relay team any day, and to come from last year (when we only started three women in the first world cups) and now to have four solid women and to be able to start a relay is a blessing and will really help out this team.  A World Cup start is a privilege, not a right, and I really admire the ICC for the tough choices they have to make -but this choice would have been an easy one.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the ICC determined the pre-qualification criteria for next season’s (2018/2019) World Cups 1, 2 and 3. Athletes who achieve at one top-25 result this World Cup season or at the 2018 Olympic Games will be eligible. The U.S. will pre-qualify up to three athletes per gender, unless three or fewer start spots exist. In that instance, “up to one less than the start spots can be pre-qualified (i.e. 2 can pre-qualify if only 3 start spots),” the press release stated.

The IBU World Cup opens Nov. 26-Dec. 3 in Östersund, Sweden.

Bailey and Egan Capture Last Wins of U.S. Biathlon Trials Series

Lowell Bailey and Clare Egan won the final sprint competitions of a four-race rollerski biathlon series held in Jericho, Vermont. The races, organized by the U.S. Biathlon Association, serve as trials to select teams for an on-snow camp later this fall in Canmore, Alberta, and eventually for the first period of World Cup racing.

Both Bailey, the 2017 World Champion in the 20 k individual, and Egan, who notched her first World Championships top-20 last season, are pre-qualified for that trip.

Bailey shot perfectly in Sunday’s 10 k sprint, winning by 27 seconds over Sean Doherty and making it a clean sweep as the top American in all four of the trials races (two were held in August, and one on Saturday). Doherty and third-place Leif Nordgren each had three penalties, but Doherty was quicker; Nordgren finished 42.3 seconds behind Bailey. Paul Schommer missed two shots and finished fourth (+1:14.0), the top non-prequalified athlete ahead of fifth-place Russell Currier (+1:21.6 with four penalties).

In the women’s 7.5 k sprint, Egan missed one shot in standing, as did second-place Emily Dreissigacker, who finished 18.4 seconds behind. Maddie Phaneuf shot clean to snag third place, +23.4, and Joanne Reid missed three shots to take fourth (+1:17.5).

Based on the results of the trials series, USBA’s International Competition Committee will recommend a roster for the Canmore camp. Bailey, Doherty, Nordgren, Tim Burke, Egan, and Susan Dunklee – who did not race this weekend due to illness – are prequalified, and two to four more athletes will be named.

Results

Bailey, Dreissigacker Win Jericho Sprints as Part of Trials Series

Lowell Bailey and Emily Dreissigacker claimed wins at the Ethan Allen Biathlon Range in Jericho, Vermont, on Saturday, as the U.S. Biathlon Association held rollerski sprint races as part of a trials series that will help them select teams for the World Cup this winter.

Another sprint race will be held on Sunday, after which point at least two and possibly up to four athletes will find out that they are invited to attend an on-snow training camp in Canmore, Alberta, later this fall, from which the team for the first period of World Cups will be chosen. These athletes will join those which are prequalified for the camp and the World Cups: Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, Bailey, Tim Burke, Sean Doherty, and Leif Nordgren.

The additional athletes will be picked based on their best three of four results from the trials race series: two races in August, and the two races this weekend. The top-ranked man and woman will join the prequalified athletes, and another athlete of each gender may also be selected by discretion. The top-ranked woman will also automatically qualify for the first period of World Cups. The selections also have important implications for Olympic team selection, as one part of the qualification process is based on early-season World Cups.

In the men’s 10 k sprint, Paul Schommer made a strong case that he should be one of those picks, finishing just four seconds behind World Champion Bailey despite missing a shot while Bailey went clean. Third place went to Doherty, 13.4 seconds back with three penalties, and fourth to Russell Currier, 42.2 seconds back with two missed shots.

World Cup trials, round 2. #usbiathlon #roadtopeyongchang

A post shared by Jonne Kähkönen (@jonnekahkonen) on

Dunklee had swept the August trials races but sat out this edition due to illness. In her absence, Dreissigacker used the best shooting in the field to race to a 13.1-second win over Kelsey Dickinson in the 7.5 k sprint; Dreissigacker had one missed shot, and Dickinson two. Egan finished third, 30.3 seconds back with three missed shots, and Joanne Reid fourth, 37 seconds back with four penalties.

Results

Dunklee, Bailey, Currier Are National Champions

The U.S. biathlon season concluded this weekend, with Susan Dunklee picking up three national titles, Lowell Bailey two, and Russell Currier one as the domestic and World Cup fields converged in Jericho, Vermont. 90 athletes competed in the season finale, with an open and eight age group champions crowned for both men and women.

In the senior field, Dunklee dominated, picking up a 1:54.5 win over Joanne Reid in the sprint. Their World Cup teammate Clare Egan took third, +2:17.5. Dunklee’s win came despite three penalties; Reid and Egan each had four. Kelsey Dickinson of the College of Saint Scholastica took fourth with two penalties, the best shooting in the women’s field, +2:20.4.

In the men’s sprint, Currier of Maine’s Outdoor Sports Institute took the first win of the weekend by 10.8 seconds over Bailey, despite two penalties to the World Champion’s one. Leif Nordgren was third, +39.0 with three missed shots. Paul Schommer of the national team and Moose Biathlon was just a missed shot from the podium, +50.4 with two penalties.

In the pursuit, Dunklee missed just two shots out of 20 and extended her lead to five minutes, 18 seconds. Reid emerged in second place with five missed shots, three coming in the final stage. Maddie Phaneuf of the national team missed just two shots and moved from sixth up to third, +5:39.0. Egan suffered six missed shots and crossed the line fourth, +6:03.9, ahead of fifth-place Emily Dreissigacker of the Craftsbury Green Racing project (+6:29.8).

In the men’s pursuit, Bailey shot a perfect 20-for-20 and cruised to a big win of 2:22.5 over Nordgren, who had missed three shots. With six penalties, Currier held onto third (+2:37.7) and Schommer was again fourth (+3:12.3).

Finally, in the mass start Dunklee and Egan dueled to the end; Dunklee missed six shots and Egan four, but Dunklee managed to eke out a 7.7-second win over her teammate. Dreissigacker finished third (+1:20.6) with just two penalties, and Reid fourth with five (+2:07.3).

In the men’s mass start Bailey missed a shot in his first prone but was otherwise perfect, hitting 19 targets and picking up a 1:35.0 win over Nordgren, who had four penalties. Schommer finally climbed onto the podium — the first National Championships medal of his career — thanks to just three missed shots (+1:49.1). Currier was fourth (+2:33.4) and Travis Cooper of National Guard Biathlon fifth despite seven missed shots (+3:07.7).

Across age groups, the national champions are:

Sprint  (full results)

Russell Currier (Men)
Cody Johnson (Junior Men)
Marcus Gore (Youth Men)
Brian Bushey (Senior Boys)
Nate Livingood (Boys)
Jesse Downs (Master Men)
Eli Walker (Senior Master Men)
Robert Duncan Douglas (Veteran Master Men)
Patrick Brower (Senior Veteran Master Men)

Susan Dunklee (Women)
Hannah Streinz (Junior Women)
Grace Gilliland (Youth Women)
Anna Sofie Vylka Ravna (Senior Girls)
Natalie Teare (Girls)
Rebecca Anderson (Master Women)
Lisa Holan (Senior Master Women)
Martha Bellisle (Veteran Master Women)
Ildiko Hynes (Senior Veteran Master Women)

Pursuit full results()

Lowell Bailey (Men)
Cody Johnson (Junior Men)
Timothy Cobb (Youth Men)
Ethan Livingood (Sr Boys)
Van Ledger (Boys)
Scott Betournay (Master Men)
Eli Walker (Sr Master Men)
Robert Duncan Douglas (Vt Master Men)
Patrick Brower (Sr Vt Master Men)

Susan Dunklee (Women)
Hannah Streinz (Junior Women)
Kat Howe (Master Women)
Lisa Holan (Sr Master Women)
Martha Bellisle (Vt Master Women)
Ildiko Hynes (Sr Vt Master Women)
Chloe Levins (Youth Women)
Emma Stertz (Sr Girls)
Natalie Teare (Girls)

Mass Start full results()

Lowell Bailey (Men)
Cody Johnson (Junior Men)
Alex Kilby (Youth Men)
Ethan Livingood (Sr Boys)
Nate Livingood (Boys)
Jesse Downs (Master Men)
Eli Walker (Sr Master Men)
Robert Duncan Douglas (Vt Master Men)
Patrick Brower (Sr Vt Master Men)

Susan Dunklee (Women)
Eve Racette (Junior Women)
Rebecca Anderson (Master Women)
Lisa Holan (Sr Master Women)
Martha Bellisle (Vt Master Women)
Ariana Woods (Youth Women)
Anna Sofie Vylka Ravna (Sr Girls)
Natalie Teare (Girls)

North American/Canadian Biathlon Championships Recap

Race day at 2017 North American & Canadian Biathlon Championships in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Biathlon Alberta/Facebook)

The 2017 North American and Canadian Biathlon Championships were held as a single event last week in Canmore, Alberta, with sprints, individual races, pursuits, and relays taking place March 8-12.

On Day 1, Matt Neumann of British Columbia took the victory in the men’s 10-kilometer sprint, beating American Max Durtschi of US Biathlon by 18.9 seconds in 29:28.5 minutes. American Bill Bowler finished third (+46.5), and all three of the podium finishers shot 9-for-10, with Neumann and Durtschi missing a standing shot and Bowler missing one in prone.

In the junior men’s 10 k sprint, Pearce Hanna (Alberta) shot clean to win in 29:22.9, while Trevor Kiers (Ontario) finished 1:20.6 back in second with one penalty (0+1). Also shooting clean, Teo Sanchez (Quebec) finished third (+3:36).

Four junior women raced 7.5 k, with Alberta’s Darya Sepandj taking the win by 1:23.2 minutes in 26:40.8. Sepandj won despite four penalties (1+3), Emily Dickson of British Columbia placed second with two misses (1+1), and Caitlin Campbell (Prince Edward Island) finished third (+3:59.7) with six penalties (4+2).

Twenty women contested the youth women’s 6 k sprint, which Shilo Rousseau (Ontario) won by 1:44.8 in 19:55.0 with one penalty (1+0). Benita Peiffer (British Columbia) finished second with four penalties (2+2), and Gillian Gowling was third (+2:36) with one miss (0+1).

Thomas Hulsman (Alberta) shot clean in the youth men’s 7.5 k sprint to win in 21:52.4, 1:16.4 minutes ahead of Adam Runnalls, also of Alberta, in second place with six penalties (3+3). Quebec’s Youth World Champion Leo Grandbois finished third (+1:18) with five misses (3+2).

Sprint results

***

In the individual races on Thursday, March 9, Kurtis Wenzel (Alberta) raced to a 40.2-second win in the men’s 15 k, shooting four penalties (0+2+1+1) and finishing in 44:20.2. Neumann reached the podium for the second-straight day despite six misses (2+1+2+1), as did Bowler in third (+1:45.9) with six penalties as well (1+2+2+1).

André Boudreau (Prince Edward Island) won the junior men’s 12.5 k individual with 19-for-20 shooting (0+1+0+0). He finished in 40:04.5, nearly two minutes faster than anyone else. Charles Pepin (Quebec) placed second (+1:55.4), with five misses (1+1+1+2), and Kiers returned to the podium in third (+2:43.2) despite seven misses (2+1+2+2).

Hulsman raced to his second-straight win in the youth men’s 10 k, finishing with three penalties (1+1+1+0) in 32:11.2. British Columbia’s Bobby Kreitz placed second (+38.2) with four misses (2+2+0+0), and Grandbois repeated in third (+45.9) with five penalties (0+1+3+1).

Sepandj won her second-straight race as well in the junior women’s 10 k in 41:16.6 with eight penalties (1+3+2+2). Campbell placed second (+2:22.4) with seven misses (4+1+2+0) and Alberta’s Ashley Runnalls was third (+10:57.6) with 11 penalties (3+0+5+3).

Peiffer took the win in the youth women’s 7.5 k in 30:08.7 with five penalties (1+1+0+3). Rousseau finished 1:04.1 back in second place with six penalties (2+4+0+0), and Australia’s Gabrielle Hawkins reached the podium in third (+2:43.4) despite seven misses (1+3+2+1).

Individual results

***

After a rest day, racers competed in pursuits of varying distances on Saturday, March 11. Alexandre Dupuis (Ontario) won the men’s 12.5 k pursuit by 39.1 seconds in 37:43 minutes after shooting four penalties (1+0+2+1). Durtschi finished second with seven misses (2+3+0+2), and Wenzel was third (+1:00.1) with three misses (1+1+0+1).

Hanna pulled out his second victory of the championships in the junior men’s 12.5 k, finishing 23.6 seconds ahead of Kiers in second with a winning time of 38:42.1. Hanna had six penalties (1+3+2+0), Kiers accumulated eighth (2+1+2+3), and Lucas Boudreau (Prince Edward Island) reached the podium in third (+3:59.2) with three penalties (1+1+0+1).

Adam Runnalls won the youth men’s 10 k pursuit by 1:09.7 over Hulsman, finishing first in 30:54.9. Runnalls shot five penalties (1+1+2+1), Hulsman had three (1+0+2+0), and Alberta swept the podium with Sergey Bochkarnikov in third (+1:14) with four misses (0+1+0+3).

Dickson continued to ascend up the podium in the junior women’s category, winning the 10 k pursuit in 36:52.5 with four misses (1+0+2+1). Sepandj finished 1:12.4 back in second place with eight penalties (2+2+2+2), and Campbell was third (+6:02.2) with 10 misses (4+2+3+1).

Rousseau notched her second win of the week in the youth women’s 7.5 k pursuit, which she took by 43.3 seconds over Peiffer in 28:31.7. Rousseau had four misses (1+1+0+2), Peiffer missed five (0+0+3+2), and Alberta’s Anna Sellers finished 2:48.2 back in third with four penalties (1+0+1+2).

Pursuit results 

***

Sunday, the final day of the championships, was co-ed relay day. The men and women teamed up in the senior category for a 3 x 6 k mixed relay, which Alberta 2’s Wenzel, Zina Kocher and Tyson Smith won in 56:08.2. Both Wenzel and Smith shot clean, and Kocher had a miss in each stage (1+1). Ontario placed second (+42.1) with Kiers, Dupuis and Erin Yungblut. After Kiers had three prone misses, Dupuis and Yungblut shot clean. Alberta 1 finished third (+1:45.7) with Matt Strum, Jessica Paterson and Nate Gerwin tallying just two misses on Strum’s first leg.

In the junior 3 x 6 k relay, Alberta 1’s Hanna, Sepandj and Chad Berling won by 46.5 seconds in 57:34.8. Hanna and Berling cleaned while Sepandj missed three (2+1). British Columbia took second with Angus Tweedie, Dickson and Jarod Algra tallying just two misses on Dickson’s second leg, and PEI’s Team Spud was third (+1:06) with Lucas Boudreau, Campbell and Andre Boudreau all shooting clean.

British Columbia raced to the win in the youth 3 x 6 k with Logan Sherba, Peiffer and Kreitz, all of which cleaned, in 56:57.7. Ontario 1 was second (+30.5) with Olivier Gervais, Rousseau and Tobias Quinn shooting clean as well, and Alberta 1 bested three other Alberta teams for third place (+3:30.8) with Hulsman, Sellers and Adam Runnalls combining for six misses.

Relay results

Complete results

Dreissigacker Snags Top 30s on IBU Cup

Emily Dreissigacker led the way for the U.S. biathlon team in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia, last weekend, with a pair of top-30 results on the IBU Cup. The Craftsbury Green Racing Project athlete started with a 27th-place finish in the 7.5 k sprint, missing one shot to finish +2:22.1. She followed that up in the 10 k pursuit by collecting just three penalties and moving up one spot to 26th.

Germany’s Denise Herrmann won the sprint on Friday – her second IBU Cup win. The former cross-country skier failed in her bid to make this year’s biathlon World Championships on a strong German women’s team, but is still a force to be reckoned with. She bested Russia’s Daria Virolaynen by 18.6 seconds despite having one penalty to Virolaynen’s clean shooting. Among other North Americans, Canada’s Leilani Tam von Burg was 41st (+3:37.9) and Erin Yungblut 44th (+4:06.4), each with three penalties. Team USA’s Hallie Grossman finished 48th (+4:40.0) with six missed shots.

In the men’s 10 k sprint on Friday, Russia’s Alexey Volkov took a 4.6-second win over Norway’s Fredrik Gjesbakk. It was a close race with Russia’s Dmitry Malyshko third, +6.2 despite a penalty; Volkov and Gjesbakk had shot clean. Paul Schommer led the U.S. in 38th (+2:27.1) with two missed shots, followed by Jakob Ellingson 54th (+3:26.5), Alex Howe 57th (+3:31.9), and Russell Currier 65th (+4:30.1). For Canada, Carsen Campbell placed 41st with one penalty (+2:37.7), followed by Matt Neumann 44th (+2:49.4), Matt Hudec 49th (+3:07.4), and Aidan Millar 56th (+3:27.9).

On Saturday, Virolaynen had just two penalties to move up and take the 10 k pursuit win by 14.3 seconds over Lea Johanedisova of the Czech Republic, who had started in ninth position and cleaned every target. Herrmann was third, +21.2 with five missed shots (and the fastest course time by 52.5 seconds). Tam von Burg finished 35th for Canada with two penalties (+6:39.0), while Yungblut and Grossman were lapped.

In the men’s 12.5 k pursuit, it was an all-new podium with Kristoffer Skjelvik and Tarjei Bø of Norway going 1-2 with zero and two penalties apiece, moving up from seventh and sixth place. The result was enough to net Bø — a world champion and former World Cup Total Score winner who has been struggling with health problems all season, and had only just begun racing at the international level — a World Championships nomination. Timur Makhambetov of Russia was third, +14.6, after accruing just one penalty and moving from fifth up to third.

Schemer finished 39th with four penalties (+5:36.6) and U.S. teammate Ellingson moved up to 45th with three missed shots (+6:45.7). For Canada, Neumann placed 42nd (+6:13.9) and Hudec 50th (+8:02.5). Howe and Millar were lapped, while Campbell received a two-minute time penalty for missing a penalty loop. That left him 51st (+9:18.9).

Sprint results: womenmen

Pursuit results: womenmen

Open European Championships Finish Up in Poland

Alexander Loginov of Russia on his way to a win in the 12.5 k pursuit at Open European Championships. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

Alexander Loginov of Russia on his way to a win in the 12.5 k pursuit at Open European Championships. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

By Erin Yungblut

DUSZNIKI-ZDROJ, Poland — After a rough start for North America in the 15/20-kilometer individual races last Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Open European Championships continued in Poland with extremely high-calibre racing and tight fields for the sprint, pursuit, and mixed relays over the weekend.

Paul Schommer (United States) climbing to 48th place in the Open European Championships pursuit. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

Paul Schommer (United States) climbing to 48th place in the Open European Championships pursuit. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

With many World Cup biathletes donning bibs, the sprint fields were tight and fast with little room for error. For North America, Paul Schommer and Alex Howe squeaked into Saturday’s pursuit, placing 58th and 59th, respectively, in Friday’s 10 k sprint. The North American women were undone by shooting woes and none qualified for the pursuit — the downhill range approach made for good shooting overall in the field, but a few bouts in all the races over the weekend seemed to be affected by shaky legs in a number of athletes.

After some tough prone shooting, both Schommer and Howe shot well standing and moved up to to 48th and 51st in the men’s 12.5 k pursuit on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Eastern Europe dominated the the results in both the men’s and women’s sprint and pursuit, with World Cup stars or athletes returning from doping bans topping the podiums.

The Russian teams were a formidable force for the relays on Sunday, winning both the regular mixed and the single-mixed formats. The highlight of the day was a bronze in the single mixed relay for the home nation by Polish couple Krystnya and Grezgorz Guzik, as well as the very loud crowd cheering for the Czech and Polish teams in the range.

Paul Schommer and Alex Howe of the United States skiing together at the start of the pursuit. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

Paul Schommer and Alex Howe of the United States skiing together at the start of the pursuit. (Photo: Jake Ellingson)

With two women at the championships, the U.S. did not field a team in the single mixed relay, while the Canadian sprinting duo of Sarah Beaudry and Aidan Millar sharing seven spare rounds to tie for the second-best shooting in the field. The pair skied to 13th place (+1:56.1).

In the regular mixed relay, the American quartet of Emily Dreissigacker, Hallie Grossman, Max Durtschi, and Jakob Ellingson all skied solid legs and avoided the penalty lap, finishing in 14th with nine spare rounds (+4:47.4). The Canadians (Erin Yungblut, Leilani Tam von Burg, Matt Neumann, and Carsen Campbell) had an exciting day, narrowly avoiding being lapped by the Russians; they tied the best-ever Canadian shooting in a relay with only three spare rounds total. With other nations and coaches joining in on the cheering and back-splits, they ended up 16th on the day (+6:39.9).

Most of the teams at now head to either to Osrblie, Slovakia, for the next IBU Cup, or on to Hochfilzen, Austria, for World Championships.

First Report from Open European Champs

A grey, calm day for the 15/20 k individual at IBU Open European Championships on Wednesday in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland.

A grey, calm day for the 15/20 k individual at IBU Open European Championships on Wednesday in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland.

By Erin Yungblut

It was a tough start to racing in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, at the IBU Open European Championships (OECH) for the North Americans. After a week-long hiatus from IBU Cup, the 15/20-kilometer individual on Wednesday was fast with perfect shooting a must for a decent result on a grey, calm day. The Canadians trained for a week on the fresh snow in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, while the Americans enjoyed a sunny week in Dobiacco, Italy, before the event. With some nations using the OECH event as selections for World Championships in February, there were many World Cup regulars racing. Every nation can enter six athletes at OECH, and the event is often considered the “world championships” of the IBU Cup level.

The Canadian wax technicians jokingly coined the individual on Wednesday “Russian Nationals” after yet another strong showing at the top of the results sheet by the Russian team. The IBU Cup is usually dominated by the Russians (with six in the top eight a common occurrence on the circuit), and Wednesday’s race was no different, with two athletes having recently served two-year bans for EPO use standing on top of the podium. The best North American women’s result was Emily Dreissigacker in 41st, while Russell Currier led the North American men in 51st. Both the Canadians and Americans had mediocre days on the range, with the top shooting being 18-for-20 for both teams.

The long downhill approach to the range in  Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, at 2017 IBU Open European Championships.

The long downhill approach to the range in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, at 2017 IBU Open European Championships.

The range had only a few light breezes throughout the day, but the long downhill approach finishing with a short punch into the range was deceptively difficult for most, arriving on the shooting mat with lead legs/lower-than-normal heart rates. The course in Poland is wide and designed for TV with many long one and two-skate sections and only one steep climb. The snow was soft and mushy, deteriorating throughout the day, making for a lot of work with little rest.

Overall, the atmosphere in Poland is bright with the locals working hard to make the event happen without a glitch — despite a half-finished stadium building — and the spectators were loud and excited. At only their third event of the team’s first IBU Cup tour this season, the Americans will build on their decent skiing for the sprint, pursuit and relays this Friday through Sunday. With members of the Canadian IBU Cup team rebounding from the third illness to strike the team so far this winter, the Canadians hope to sharpen up their speed leading into the weekend as well.

The Canadian team is led by coaches Jacqueline Ackerman (Ottawa) and Jessica Blenkarn (Whistler) for the first time on this tour.

The Canadian team at 2017 IBU European Championships is led by coaches Jacqueline Ackerman (Ottawa) and Jessica Blenkarn (Whistler) for the first time on this tour. (Photo: Sarah Beaudry/Instagram)

US Biathlon Names Teams for IBU Worlds and Open European Champs

(Press release)

NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine (January 21, 2017) – U.S. Biathlon is proud to announce the rosters for the upcoming IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, beginning on February 6. The International Competition Committee also named the team for next week’s IBU Open European Championships in Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, beginning on January 25.

Below are the named athletes, including their previous World Championships and Olympic Games appearances.

IBU World Championships

Men

  • Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.) – 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016; Three-time Olympian (2006, 2010 and 2014)
  • Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) – 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016; Three-time Olympian (2006, 2010 & 2014)
  • Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016; 2014 Olympian
  • Sean Doherty (Center Conway, N.H.) – 2015 & 2016; 2014 Olympian

Women

  • Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) – 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016; 2014 Olympian
  • Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.)
  • Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) – 2015 & 2016
  • Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.)

IBU Open European Championships

Men

  • Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.)
  • Russell Currier (Stockholm, Maine)
  • Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.)
  • Max Durtschi (Ketchum, Idaho)
  • Jakob Ellingson (Minnetonka, Minn.)
  • Mike Gibson (Stowe, Vt.)
  • ALTERNATE: Alex Howe (Gilford, N.H.)

Women

  • Emily Dreissigacker (Morrisville, Vt.)
  • Hallie Grossman (Vermont)

The U.S. Biathlon staff and the ICC congratulate all of the athletes on their performances to this point in the season, and wish them continued success in Austria and Poland!

Starykh & Loginov Win Arber IBU Cup, Schommer 25th, Beaudry 28th

The IBU Cup competitions got off to a difficult start in Arber, Germany, as the women’s individual was postponed on Friday due to bad weather. In the end, the men’s and women’s 20 k and 15 k individual competitions were held on Saturday and the mixed relay and single mixed relay scrapped.

Come Sunday, the Russian team was ready, taking four of the six available podium spots. Irina Starykh and Alexander Loginov, both returning from bans for using the blood-doping drug EPO, took the wins.

In the 20 k, Loginov racked up a monster win of 1:12.2 over Italy’s Jeremy Finello, despite four penalties to Finello’s two. It’s unusual for the winner of an individual competition – where each missed shot accrues a minute of penalty time, rather than a 20- to 25-second penalty lap – to have so many penalties. Loginov’s ski time was the fastest of the day by more than a minute over Norway’s Kristoffer Skjelvik, who ultimately finished sixth (+3:04.2) with five penalties. Third place overall went to Michail Kletcherov of Bulgaria (2:08.4) with three penalties.

Paul Schommer of the United States continued his strong IBU Cup showing this season, leading North Americans in 25th place (+5:58.7) with five penalties. For Canada Carsen Campbell led the way in 31st (+6:24.2) with three penalties. Other American finishers were Jake Ellingson in 37th (+6:41.6 with four penalties), Alex Howe in 64th (+9:58.3 with eight penalties), and Max Durtschi in 88th (+14:32.3 with ten penalties). Also for Canada, Matthew Neumann finished 60th (+9:08.3 with six penalties), Matthew Hudek 70th (+11:31.4 with seven penalties), and Aidan Millar 73rd (+11:47.8 with eight penalties).

In the 15 k individual, Starykh bested Russian teammate Daria Virolaynen by just 0.3 seconds; she had one penalty to Virolaynen’s two. Svetlana Sleptsova rounded out an all-Russian podium in third (+2:56.2) with four penalties. The podium finishers had the fourth-, first-, and third-fastest ski times of the day.

Sarah Beaudry finished 28th for Canada (+7:25.8), with just three penalties. Teammate Leilani Tam Von Burg finished 58th (+11:31.0) with seven penalties, and Erin Yungblut 64th (+12:31.6) with five penalties. For the United States, Emily Dreissigacker placed 71st (+13:26.1) with seven penalties, Siena Ellingson 79th (+15:38.5) with five penalties, and Hallie Grossman 86th (+18:30.1) with 14 penalties.

The circuit takes a one-week break before moving to Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, for Open European Championships.

Results: menwomen

Phaneuf 10th in IBU Cup Pursuit, Gets World Cup Promotion

Maddie Phaneuf (U.S. Biathlon "A" team) on her way to a three-minute win in the women's NorAm mass start in Canmore, Alberta, in December. Phaneuf is now on her way to the World Cup. (Photo: Dan Guay)

Maddie Phaneuf (U.S. Biathlon “A” team) on her way to a three-minute win in the women’s NorAm mass start in Canmore, Alberta, in December. Phaneuf is now on her way to the World Cup. (Photo: Dan Guay)

Maddie Phaneuf (U.S. Biathlon “A” Team) made her IBU Cup debut for the season this weekend in Martell, Italy, and showed she meant business with a pair of top-12 finishes.

In Friday’s 7.5 k sprint, Phaneuf was 39th (+3:00.4) with three penalties. But she improved her shooting for the weekend, scoring 12th in Saturday’s sprint (+59.6) with clean shooting, and then moving up to 10th (+2:06.0) in Sunday’s 10 k pursuit with a single missed shot.

That earned Phaneuf a call-up for next weekend’s World Cup races in Ruhpolding, Germany. The U.S. has fielded a three-woman World Cup team all season, and besides competing in a sprint with the possibility of a pursuit, Phaneuf will also join Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, and Joanne Reid for a relay.

“I’m excited to race the relay in Ruhpolding, the atmosphere there is amazing…so many people!” Phaneuf wrote on her blog. “I’m hoping to keep up the great shooting, and hopefully start skiing faster through the coming weeks. I’ve found that it usually takes me a few races to really get my ski speed up, so I’m not too worried.”

Friday’s sprint was won by Austria’s Fabienne Hartweger, who shot clean to take the first victory of her career. Also in Friday’s sprint, Siena Ellingson (Loppet Nordic Racing) and Emily Dreissigacker (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) finished 56th (+4:20.9) and 59th (+4:26.6) with three and four penalties, respectively. Hallie Grossman, also from the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, finished 68th (+5:32.1) with six penalties. The lone Canadian to start, Leilani Tam Von Burg, finished 58th (+4:25.6) with four missed shots.

In the men’s 10 k sprint on Friday, another first-time winner emerged: Andreas Dahloe Waernes of Norway, who had two penalties but held off Austria’s Nikolaus Leitinger by 9.6 seconds. Max Durtschi (U.S. Biathlon “X” Team) led the way for the United States in 41st (+2:29.0) with four penalties. Paul Schommer (+2:57.5) and Jakob Ellingson (+3:04.1) went 54-55 with five and four missed shots, respectively, and Alex Howe finished 78th (+4:12.5) with six missed shots. For Canada Carsen Campell led the way in 56th (+3:04.6) with five penalties. Pearce Hanna finished 74th (+4:00.3) with six missed shots.

In Saturday’s 7.5 k sprint, a new winner took the podium with Julia Simon of France shooting just one penalty. Dreissigacker again made the top 60, and again had four penalties. She finished 56th (+4:04.3) to qualify for the next day’s pursuit along with Phaneuf. Not making the cut were Grossman in 63rd (+4:31.7) with seven penalties, and Ellingson in 83rd (+6:49.4) with eight penalties. Erin Yungblut of Canada, starting for the first time of the series, had just two missed shots but still finished 64th (+4:38.4). Tam Von Burg accrued five penalties and also missed the pursuit, finishing 78th (+5:59.3).

In the second men’s 10 k sprint, former Junior World Champion Alexander Loginov of Russia collected a 44.2-second win over Norway’s Martin Femsteinvik, who shot clean. Loginov is coming back from a suspension for using the blood-doping drug EPO. Schommer missed six shots but still managed a 42nd-place finish (+3:20.4). Ellingson had two penalties to finish 47th (+3:29.6), also qualifying for the pursuit. Howe was 77th (+5:15.8) with five penalties. Durtschi did not start. Canada put Campbell in the pursuit: he had four penalties to finish 49th (+3:36.7). His teammate, Hanna, did not finish.

Come pursuit day, the Russians swept the top four places. Virolainen dusted Simon by 55.7 seconds despite both having three penalties. In between them were Irina Starykh – also recently returned from a doping ban and skiing up from seventh place thanks to just one penalty – then Victoria Slivko and Svetlana Mironova. Starykh and Phaneuf were the only two finishers to limit their shooting errors to a single miss. And of the two Americans in the race, Phaneuf wasn’t alone to move up with good shooting. Dreissigacker had four penalties and skied up 11 places to 45th (+8:10.9).

The men’s 12.5 k pursuit was dominated by Loginov, who missed four shots but thanks to the third-fastest course time skied to a 53.4-second win over Emilien Jaquelin of France. Schommer had six penalties but still moved up 14 places in the field, finishing 28th (+5:12.2). He was followed by Campbell in 31st (+5:23.2) with three penalties. Ellingson missed seven shots and finished 46th (+7:18.5).

Results: 

Friday men / women

Saturday men / women

Sunday men / women

Tyumen World Cup Stage Moved to Kontiolahti, Finland

Ondrej Moravec celebrates a sizable win for the Czech Republic in Thursday’s mixed relay at 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Jarno Artika)

Ondrej Moravec celebrates a sizable win for the Czech Republic in the mixed relay at 2015 IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo: Kontiolahden Urheilijat/Jarno Artika)

In December the Russian Biathlon Union “gave back” their planned World Cup stage in Tyumen, before the International Biathlon Union could strip it from the country following an investigation of widespread doping in Russia.

The competitions, scheduled for March 9-12, have now been allocated to Kontiolahti, Finland, a usual World Cup stop which lost its hosting rights this year in order to make room for the pre-Olympic test races in PyeongChang, South Korea. Kontiolahti also hosted 2015 IBU World Championships.

Per an IBU press release:

“Following the recent decision by the IBU Executive Board to move BMW IBU World Cup 8; they IBU have now selected a new venue to host the event. BMW IBU World Cup 8 will be held in Kontiolahti, Finland March 6 – 12, 2017.”

IBU Youth/Junior Worlds Moved to Osrblie, Slovakia

After the Russian Biathlon Union voluntarily forfeited hosting rights to two International Biathlon Union (IBU) events last month, the IBU recently announced that Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia, has been selected as the new host for its 2017 Youth/Junior World Championships.

Osrblie, which has hosted the IBU Cup as recently as last season, will host the championships from Feb. 22-28, 2017, replacing Ostrov, Russia.

According to Biathlon Canada’s Sarah Beaudry, who experienced in Brezno-Osrblie for IBU Cup racing, she wasn’t sure which other venues bid for the relocated Youth/Junior Worlds, but logistically, she felt it made sense. (Note: Beaudry, 22, has aged out of Junior Worlds.)

“…With a lot of Junior teams including both Canada and the USA already being in Nova Mesto for Junior Euro Champs it makes sense to keep it in Central Europe,” she wrote in an email. “The course definitely has some challenging climbs and fun downhills and the venue is on par with a lot of the other locations that I went to for World Juniors. The IBU needed to find somewhere to host a pretty major event that most venues plan for multiple years and I think it’s pretty great that Brezno-Osrblie is willing to do it on such short notice.”

As for a new venue for the IBU World Cup 8, originally slated for Tyumen, Russia, that decision will be “announced soon,” an IBU press release stated.

Currier 44th in Beitostolen Sprint, Re-Qualifies for World Cup

When Russell Currier (Outdoor Sports Institute) was selected to the U.S. World Cup team after a one-year absence, there was just one piece of outstanding business: he was no longer qualified for the World Cup. So that entailed an early-season trip to the second-tier IBU Cup to re-make qualification criteria.

Currier raced in the 10 k sprint in Beitostolen, Norway, on Friday to do just that. He was the only American athlete there, and traveled with one coach, U.S. men’s team coach Jonas Johansson. The one-day reintroduction to international racing was far from dull for the skeleton crew.

Currier faced few problems on his skis, cruising to the tenth-fastest course time.

“Ski speed was better than expected,” he wrote in an email. “Two days of travel and jet lag, a one-man wax team and not the best feeling in the legs had my expectations on the lower end.”

But Currier shot two penalties in each of his stages, with some added challenges in standing.

“I accidentally ejected a magazine,” he explained. “It proceeded to bounce off the mat and beyond the firing line. Normally there is a coach with a spare clip for in these situations… [but] Jonas was checking my shots [on a digital network] without having to be in front of a scope. So, I had to wait for a race official to figure out what I was yelling about. The official that came over had, coincidentally, five rounds on him that I was able to reload my prone mag with. Still, the winds were so obnoxious that hitting three of five with a 50+/- second rest didn’t help.”

Currier had to hurry his way to the finish and his time, +3:09.4 from winner Vetle Sjastad Christiansen of Norway, earned him 44th place and points of 111.85 – just sneaking under the 125-point cutoff for World Cup qualification.

The whole experience was a bit wild.

“There was some pressure because I didn’t know what to expect,” Currier wrote. “It had been so long since my last race with this field. After my standing stage folly, I was more nervous.”

But he has since rejoined the U.S. team in Östersund, Sweden, where he will compete in the World Cup 20 k individual on Thursday.

“The whole race could have been so much worse and so much better,” Currier wrote. “The goal was to do well enough to make the points and then be in Östersund with the rest of the team ASAP, so with that in mind the race was a success.”

Results

Dunklee, Bailey and Burke Shine at USBA Rollerski Nationals in Jericho

Susan Dunklee racing to a win in the mass start at 2015 US Biathlon National Rollerski Championships in Jericho, Vt. (Photo: Paul Bierman)

USBA A-teamer Susan Dunklee racing to a win in the mass start last year at 2015 US Biathlon National Rollerski Championships in Jericho, Vt. Dunklee won both the sprint and mass start at 2016 rollerski nationals in Jericho last weekend. (Photo: Paul Bierman)

Susan Dunklee, Lowell Bailey and Tim Burke took wins at the US Biathlon National Rollerski Championships in Jericho, Vt., this past weekend.

All members of the US Biathlon Association (USBA) A-team, the trio of Olympians outcompeted the field in sprints on Saturday, Aug. 13, and then mass starts on Sunday, Aug. 14.

Dunklee took a 13.3-second win over Joanne Reid of Colorado Biathlon and USBA’s X-team in the 7.5-kilometer sprint, despite four penalties to Reid’s one. A-teamer Clare Egan picked up third with three penalties, a minute and one second behind Dunklee.

In Sunday’s mass start, Dunklee again picked up penalties – this time five – but cruised to a 26.7-second victory over Egan, who had three missed shots. Reid made her second podium by placing third, +1:19, with four penalties.

In the 10 k sprint, Bailey dueled all the way to the end with teammate Burke, who started two bibs behind and shot four penalties to Bailey’s two. That gave Bailey the win by just three tenths of a second. Jake Brown, of USBA’s X-team and Moose Nordic, was third, +59.2 with three penalties.

In the next day’s mass start, Burke got revenge and took the win from Bailey by 24.3 seconds, despite four penalties to Bailey’s three. It was Russell Currier of the Outdoor Sports Institute (OSI) claiming the final spot on the podium, finishing third with seven missed shots, +2:29.4.

Results from the competitions, as well as another pair of races to be held in Jericho in October, will be used to fill a pre-World Cup training camp roster and the pick the team for World Cup 1. Dunklee, Egan, Bailey, Burke, Sean Doherty, and Leif Nordgren are pre-qualified; the rest of the field are fighting for top billing in a best-3-of-4 scoring system. The trials winner for each gender will attend the pre-World Cup camp, as well as up to one more athlete per gender to be named on discretion.

Results: Saturday | Sunday

Olympian Lowell Bailey Joins Bridger Biathlon Club Board

US Biathlon's Lowell Bailey in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

US Biathlon’s Lowell Bailey in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

(Press release)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (June 29, 2016) – The Bridger Biathlon Club (BBC) announced today the appointment of three-time Olympian, Lowell Bailey, to its Board of Directors. BBC, a local nonprofit community organization operating at the Bohart Ranch Cross-Country Ski Center in Bridger Canyon, was established in 2014 with a focus on promoting athletic achievement and healthy living through the sport of biathlon.

Bailey, a current member of the United States Biathlon Team, brings unprecedented resources and knowledge that will elevate the Board in their understanding of biathlon, the development of robust youth programs, current best practices for trail design, and opportunities to bridge local skiing to the national and international level.

Having competed on the World Cup Circuit for over a decade and internationally since 1999, Bailey has competed in the last three Olympic Games and skied and shot his way to six top-ten finishes at World Championships, securing a personal best World Cup silver medal in 2014. This past season Bailey was ranked 17th in overall World Cup standings, and ranked as the number one prone shooter in the world. Lowell is currently training for the 2016-17 World Cup season with his sights on the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyong-Chang, South Korea. His eighth-place finish at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics represents the highest Olympic result ever achieved by an American biathlete. Lowell hopes to improve on this by leading the U.S. Biathlon Team to its first-ever Olympic medal in 2018.

US Biathlon's Lowell Bailey competing in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

US Biathlon’s Lowell Bailey competing in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

Biathlon, a sport wildly popular in Europe that has been gaining momentum in the U.S. in recent years, combines rifle marksmanship with cross-country skiing. This board appointment comes at a time when the Portland, Maine-based U.S. Biathlon Association (USBA) is ramping up its development programs and is increasingly focusing resources on youth biathlon elsewhere in the country. Bailey, also a USBA board member and an Athlete Representative for the International Biathlon Union (IBU), is in the position to represent and advocate for the sport of biathlon at a local, regional, and international level.

There is a deep history of biathlon in Bozeman, home to many former internationally ranked biathletes including Stuart Jennings, Kari Swenson and Brian Wadsworth, who all now serve on BBC’s Board along with Carol Smith as Board Chair. Bailey, who grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, cares deeply about promoting healthy, active outdoor lifestyles and understands the positive impact that outdoor sports and recreation can have on the lives of youth and parents alike. The pursuit of outdoor sport from a young age instills a set of lifelong skills and values – from energetic novices to Olympic hopefuls. Bailey is excited to help grow BBC as a community resource for all ages and abilities.

BBC will be working with Bohart Ranch and neighboring Crosscut Ranch landowners to carry forward the legacy of this incredible recreational resource. The club has already installed a state-of-the-art biathlon range and expanded trail system that supports the club’s growing roster of kids, ages 9-16, and with Bailey’s guidance will continue making advances towards becoming a world-class recreational venue for the local community.

BBC provides year-round training opportunities for youth athletes seeking to engage in human-powered outdoor sports including Nordic skiing and biathlon. BBC seeks to promote and inspire physical fitness, athletic excellence and personal growth. For more information on BBC and its programs, visit BBC’s Facebook page or website.

Former IBU Executive and Son Suspended for Two Years

On Monday, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) Anti-Doping Tribunal announced its ruling in the case of Gottlieb Taschler, formerly the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) vice president for sport, and his son Daniel, who was alleged to have doped between 2010 and 2011 in an effort to make the Italian Biathlon World Cup team.

The two were found guilty of cheating after an investigation revealed Daniel, a 29-year-old former Italian B-team biathlete who hasn’t raced since December 2014, received “micro-doses of EPO cycles” administered by Michele Ferrari between late 2010 and early 2011, according to Neveitalia.it.

While a criminal trial is still ongoing, the father and son were found guilty at the sporting level and each received two-year bans until June 12, 2018. Daniel was suspended for violating Article 2.2 of the Sports Anti-Doping Rules: use or attempted use of a banned substance or method. Gottlieb, president of the Anterselva World Cup organizing committee, was suspended for violating Article 2.9 in aiding and encouraging the cover up. The two may appeal to the Court Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In December 2014, Gottlieb stepped down from his post at the IBU. He and Daniel were indicted nearly a year later in late November 2015. A well-known doctor in the doping world, Ferrari had already been banned for life for participating in doping activities by the Italian cycling federation, and also banned by the U.S. Antidoping Agency (USADA) for working with Lance Armstrong, among other American cyclists.

As Neveitalia pointed out, the ruling is a huge blow to Anterselva’s bid for a World Cup in 2020 or 2021. Gottlieb, 55, a former Italian biathlete, earned bronze in the relay at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

US Biathlon’s 2016/2017 Nominations; Plus Bonus Drone Video

On Wednesday, the US Biathlon International Competition Committee announced its nominations for the 2016/2017 national team and development groups via a press release.

US Biathlon also filmed the above “experimental aerial” video from biathlon nationals. Click here to see it on YouTube.

National A Team Women
Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.), A 1 Team
Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), A 2 Team
Maddie Phaneuf (Old Forge, N.Y.), A 3 Team

National A Team Men
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), A 1 Team
Tim Burke (Lake Placid, N.Y.), A 1 Team
Sean Doherty (Center Conway N.H.), A 2 Team
Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.), A 2 Team

X Team

Women
Joanne Reid (Boulder, Colo.)

Men
Max Durtschi (Sun Valley, Idaho)
Jake Brown (Houghton, Mich.)

National Development Group – Seniors

Women
Emily Dreissigacker (Craftsbury, Vt.)

Men
Patrick Johnson (Truckee, Calif.)
Paul Schommer (Appleton, Wis.)
Alex Howe (Craftsbury, Vt.)

National Development Group – Youth / Juniors

Women
Chloe Levins (Rutland, Vt.)
Amanda Kautzer (Plymouth, Minn.)
Claire Waichler (Winthrop, Wash.)

Men
Brendan Cyr (Caribou, Maine)
Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minn.)

“The strength of the team can be seen through Susan Dunklee’s silver medal and the men’s team ranking 6th in the Nations Cup for the first time ever,” US Biathlon Chief of Sport Bernd Eisenbichler said in the press release. “Susan, Tim and Lowell are ranked 14th, 15th and 17th, respectively, in the World Cup and Sean Doherty made history with his three medals at the IBU Junior World Championships, becoming the most decorated youth/junior biathlete in the history of the sport. We are already looking forward to exciting competitions next season but, of course, there is a lot of work to do between now and then. That’s where our focus is today.”

Another Positive Doping Test for Biathlon, Possibly Meldonium

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) announced on Wednesday that another athlete has tested positive for a hormone or metabolic modulator.

It is possible that this substance is meldonium, which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List on January 1, 2016. If so, that would add to the list of Olga Ambramova, the first biathlete to test positive for the substance, and later Artem Tyshchenko of Ukraine, as well as Eduard Latypov of Russia.

However, without further details from the IBU, it is not possible to say whether the positive is for meldonium or some other hormone.

The athlete has not yet been identified, with the IBU only specifying that the sample was collected during an out-of-competition test in March. The suspension is provisional pending a decision on the “B” sample.

The IBU emphasized that the athlete should not take part in organized sport during the ongoing disciplinary process.

“No athlete or other person who has been declared ineligible may, during the period of ineligibility, participate in any capacity in a competition or activity (other than authorized anti-doping education or rehabilitation programs) authorized or organized by any signatory, signatory’s member organization, or a club or other member organization of a signatory’s member organization, or in competitions authorized or organized by any professional league or any international-or national-level event organization or any elite or national-level sporting activity funded by a governmental agency,” the organization wrote in their press release.

 

Bailey and Egan Hold Solid for Pursuit Wins at NorAm Championships

NorAm Championship racing continued on Friday in Fort Kent, Maine, with pursuit competitions for all age categories.

In the men’s 12.5 k pursuit, Lowell Bailey held onto his lead from the sprint despite three penalties, all coming in standing. (A recent analysis by the blog Real Biathlon revealed that Bailey is the athlete on the World Cup with one of the biggest disparities between prone and standing shooting: in prone he hit 94.2 percent of his shots, but in standing just 79.8.) National team buddy Tim Burke missed only one shot, also in standing, and maintained almost exactly the same gap from the sprint: he made up one second to finish 48 seconds behind Bailey.

Sean Doherty again earned bronze, +1:39, after a successful World Cup season. Patrick Johnson of the USBA X Team moved up to claim fourth, +6:00, while Ethan Dreissigacker of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project shot three penalties to move all the way from eleventh up to fifth (+6:44).

In the women’s 10 k pursuit, Clare Egan of the U.S. national team cruised to a big win with three penalties. That put her 2:24 ahead of Joanne Reid of Auburn Ski Club and Colorado Biathlon, who had also finished as the runner-up in the sprint and had four penalties on the day. With three penalties, Annelies Cook of the U.S. national team moved from fourth up to third place (+3:31), followed by Maddie Phaneuf of the USBA X Team (+5:09) and Emily Dreissigacker of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (+7:38).

In the junior division, Brian Halligan won the men’s race and Hannah Streinz bested Caitlin Campbell by 2:31 of the women’s win.

In the youth division, Chloe Levins and Brendan Cyr repeated their wins from the sprint by 6:30 and 1:23, respectively.

The competition series concludes Saturday with mass start races.

Results

Morning races (including youth categories)

Later races (including junior and senior categories)