RUHPOLDING, Germany - Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid finished 16th in the individual 20-kilometer World Cup competition on Wednesday. It was one of the best results of Bailey's career.
Bailey completed his four shooting stages with just two misses, finishing 2:07.1 minutes behind the winner Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway, who crossed the line in 50:39.4 .
"That was really an amazing performance," said U.S. Biathlon High Performance Director Bernd Eisenbichler said. "Lowell's shooting was solid and he was really strong on the tracks. A result like that will motivate the whole men's team."
Tim Burke of Paul Smiths also posted a strong result, finishing 42nd, with three misses at the shooting range.
"Tim's shooting with three misses was OK. He could have done better today but he didn't feel 100 percent fit," Eisenbichler said. "His tibia hurt on the track so he couldn't go full speed. We hope that problem is solved as soon as possible."
For Bailey, the race was the result of a team effort.
Individual Men 20km
|1. Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR)||0+0+0+1||50:39.4|
|2. Martin Fourcade (FRA)||0+0+0+1||50:46.8|
|3. Dominik Landertinger (AUT)||0+0+0+1||51:03.1|
|16. Lowell Bailey (USA)||0+1+0+1||53:09.1|
|42. Tim Burke (USA)||0+2+0+1||54:48.1|
|64. Leif Nordgren (USA)||0+0+0+3 56:10.1|
|75. Jeremy Teela (USA)||1+1+2+1 58:20.3|
"It was one of those days where everything came together," Bailey said. "My skis were newly grounded and skied in by the whole wax team and I ended up racing on some really fast and good ones. The coaches and I also worked a lot on my shooting after coming here from Oberhof, especially on my mental approach here."
The motivation for the upcoming races seems even higher now especially since skiing in Ruhpolding means skiing on the pre-World Championship course. In 2012, the World Championships will be held in Bavaria, the whole area has undergone some big changes.
"It's probably one of the most challenging courses on the tour, " said Baliey. "When I first skied it before Christmas I thought it was brutal, but now, after few days of training and actually racing on the course, I'd say it's manageable. That's why I am especially happy with my result today."