RUHPOLDING, Germany (March 7, 2012) - Susan Dunklee (Barton, VT) had a historic 5th place finish at today’s 15k Individual at the IBU World Championships in Ruhpolding, Germany. Posting a time of 43:48.2 (0+1+0+0), Dunklee was just 7.1 seconds away from becoming the first U.S. female to individually podium at an IBU World Championships event.
Tora Berger (NOR) won today’s Individual with a time of 42:30.0 (1+0+0+0), Marie Laure Brunet (FRA) was second (43:26.4/0+0+0+1), and Helena Ekholm (SWE) finished third (43:41/0+1+0+0). Lanny Barnes(Durango, CO) finished 37th (48:06.2/0+1+0+0), Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID) in 38th place with 48:11.2 (0+1+1+1), and Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, NY) finished 66th (50:27.4/2+3+1+0).
“Several weeks ago, Russell Currier did one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen in sports, seemly coming out of nowhere to place 6th in a World Cup. That's when I realized what was possible,” said Dunklee. “Today I started with bib number one. I was initially a little upset about starting first, but I did get firmer tracks because of it. It may have forced me to focus more on my own race too. I won't complain next time I end up with bib 1.”
“My shooting felt entirely in the zone. I wasn't afraid of the targets. The one target I missed shocked me- the shoot felt good and I think it was close. Halfway through my fourth lap, I heard an announcer saying that I was in the lead after a couple shootings. That was a little terrifying. I was very glad I still had a couple hills to go before the range so I could compose myself before my final shooting stage. I did my best on the last lap, but my legs felt pretty tired today,” she added. “Luckily I had awesome support from all the coaches and techs throughout the course giving me splits.The crowd started cheering like crazy for me after the early splits were announced. It was a constant dull roar. I think they like seeing Americans do well.The awards ceremony tonight was a lot of fun and very emotional. What a wonderful moment to share with teammates, coaches, staff!”
Dunklee has qualified for Sunday’s Mass Start which begins at 16:00 (CET). Extended results from today’s women’s 15k Individual are available here.
Jay Hakkinen (Kasiloff, AK) had the top finish for Team USA’s men in yesterday’s 20K Individual, 31st (50:06.0/1+0+0+1). Jakov Fak (SLO) won the event with a time of 46:48.2/0+0+0+1, Simon Fourcade (FRA) took second (46:55.2/0+0+1+0), and Jaroslav Soukup (CZE) finished third (47:00.5/0+1+0+0). Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY) finished 38th (50:27.8/0+2+1+1), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY) was 56th (51:26.3/0+2+1+2), and Leif Nordgren (Marine, MN) was 81st (54:07.1/0+1+2+3).
“Today was another almost,” said Bailey.The conditions were much better than previous days and I was able to regain some of the ski speed that I had lacked previously. Unfortunately, I missed 4 targets, equating to 4 extra minutes, and this put me back in 38th place. I'm definitely not satisfied with this result, but I am happy that I was able to stay in the top-fifteen overall world cup points which secures a start spot in the Mass Start.”
“This was the first big race I've done in a while," said Nordgren. “I wasn't nervous, but I could tell that I'm just not used to competing on the big stage. I felt good skiing, I'd say the best that I have yet this year. I definitely had more to give, but shooting it just wasn't there today. And in the individual shooting is for sure the more important aspect.”
Bailey and Burke have qualified to race in Sunday’s 15K Mass Start beginning at 13:30 (CET). Extended results from the men’s 20K Individual are available here.
The IBU World Championships continue in Ruhploding on Friday with the men’s 4X7.5K Relay beginning at 15:15 (CET) and will be webcast live at http://www2.biathlonworld.com/en/