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Bailey, Burke return after break

January 5, 2012
By the Enterprise staff ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The U.S. Biathlon World Cup squad resumes competition today in Oberhof, Germany in the fourth IBU World Cup of the season.

Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid, Tim Burke of Paul Smiths, Jay Hakkinen of Alaska and Leif Nordgren of Minnesota will open competition for Team USA in the 4x7.5-kilometer relay.

Conditions in Oberhof have been challenging this week, according to U.S. Biathlon High Performance Director Bernd Eisenbichler.

"With the rain, training has not been easy, but the organizers have been doing everything they can to put a good track together," he said. "In the relay, it's always tricky in these conditions with both skiing and waxing, but the team's mental approach to the race will be very important. In the end, there's always a great chance to have an extraordinary result in these conditions. As a team we need to see it is a chance and not a challenge."

Bailey goes into this week's event in Germany as the ninth-ranked biathlete in the world with 180 total points. Tarjei Boe of Norway is the leader with 308 points.

"We're looking forward to the start of the second World Cup trimester," said U.S. Biathlon head coach Per Nilsson. "We hope to have a good start and fight for the top six. Everything is possible in these conditions."



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