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Bailey takes 44th in final sprint of World Cup season
March 17, 2017

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Lowell Bailey placed 44th in the 10-kilometer World Cup biathlon sprint race Friday in Oslo, Norway to earn a spot in today's pursuit.

The Lake Placid resident shot cleanly in the prone position but struggled in standing with three misses. Bailey finished 1 minute, 51.6 seconds behind Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe, who won with clean shooting and a time of 24:53.3.

France's Martin Fourcade had one penalty and finished second, while Russia's Anton Shipulin claimed the bronze medal, 21.3 seconds behind Boe.

Bailey will be joined in the men's pursuit race by teammate Sean Doherty, of Center Conway, New Hampshire, who finished 35th. Doherty's only two misses came at the standing stage.

Today's 12.5K pursuit will begin at 10 a.m. eastern time. This is the final World Cup event of the biathlon season.

Susan Dunklee, of Barton, Vermont, and Clare Egan, of Maine, will represent the U.S. women's team in the 10K pursuit. Dunklee raced to a seventh-place finish Friday in the women's 7.5K sprint at Holmenkollen Ski Stadium. It marked Dunklee's sixth top-10 finish in her last seven individual races.

A blazing start keyed Dunklee's performance on Friday. She clocked the fastest time on the first loop and the second-fastest range time as she cleaned all five targets from the prone position. Her cumulative time on the loop was a whopping 21.7 seconds better than the next-quickest time set by Czech Republic's Veronika Vitkova.

"I tried out a bold strategy on the ski course and sprinted full out during the first loop," Dunklee said. "It certainly made for a dramatic race, but ultimately it was not a sustainable pace for my current fitness level. I felt like I had rammed into a wall during the final two loops."

Dunklee's pace slowed to the ninth-fastest course time on the second loop and 30th-best on the final circuit. Coupled with two misses in the standing position, it dashed any hopes for a podium finish.

"I had mild wind in both stages," Dunklee added. "I dealt well with it in prone and I don't think it affected my standing too much. My misses were simply bad shots. The organizers did a good job of salting the snow to make the tracks firm in spite of the warm weather. We also had a great crowd of spectators. It's always a pleasure to race in Holmenkollen."

Finland's clean-shooting Mari Laukkanen claimed her first-ever world cup victory, finishing in 20 minutes, 33.5 seconds. France's Justine Braisaz, also shooting clean, finished second, 7.9 seconds back. Braisaz's teammate Anais Bescond also cleaned to finish third, 23.1 seconds behind Laukkanen.

Egan had only one penalty on the range and finished 34th, 2:03.7 back of the lead. The third American woman in the race, Joanne Reid, of Boulder, Colorado, placed 80th with five penalties, 3:32.2 behind.

"We have an incredible team of ski service technicians and coaching staff who plan to give 110 percent until the last race is done, and I know they'll provide the best support possible," said Dunklee looking ahead to the pursuit and Sunday's mass start. "I have two tremendous opportunities still in front of me with these last races and I don't plan on wasting them."

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