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Nordgren, Burke qualify for World Championship mass start

March 9, 2011
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

KHANTY-MANSIYSK, Russia - Leif Nordgren posted another personal best and finished 21st Tuesday during one of the most important races of the season, the 20-kilometer individual at the IBU World Championships.

With just one miss at the last shooting stage, Nordgren showed one of the better results at the range to leave many other strong athletes behind. Nordgren finished just 2:51.2 minutes back from the winner Tarjei Boe of Norway who finished in 48:29.9.

Paul Smiths native Tim Burke finished 30th, despite three penalty minutes, but collected some important World Cup points and qualified directly for the mass start competition on Saturday.

"To have him and Leif in the mass start is a great accomplishment and we're really looking forward to those races," said U.S. Biathlon High Performance Director Bernd Eisenbichler.

Before the mass start the next important date for the men's U.S. team is Friday, the day of the men's relay competition. "We're not having any high expectations ranking-wise but we know that we can post a good result if everyone continues showing the results they have shown here so far. Everyone is really excited to race in the relay so we'll see what happens," Eisenbichler said.

U.S. Biathlon head coach Per Nilsson was also happy with Tuesday's results.

"The most exciting thing for us is to have two men in the mass start," he said. "Leif showed again that he really has the potential for this sport. He looked comfortable behind Berger and his shooting also was solid, so overall it was a great performance from him. It was also well deserved for Tim to make the mass start. This is were he belongs and now he finally gets a chance to prove it."

IBU World Championships continue today with the women's 15K individual race.



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