Biathlon: What to know for men’s 10km sprint

What to know for men’s 10km sprint

Lowell Bailey and Tim Burke

The PyeongChang Games are up and running.

With biathlon continuing Sunday with the men’s 10km sprint and the U.S. still seeking its first Olympic medal, here are a few things to know about the second competition.

What it is
The men’s 10km sprint is an individual event in which the biathletes ski for one half of the individual with two shooting bouts instead of four. Additionally, biathletes must ski a penalty loop for each target they miss instead of having a minute added to their time.

How to watch
The competition begins at 6:15 a.m. EST and you can watch it live right here.

Sochi in review
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, the most decorated Winter Olympian, captured his first of two gold medals in Sochi, which brought his total up to 13 medals — most ever in the Winter Games.

Bjoerndalen failed to make Norway’s biathlon team for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, but he is in South Korea as part of Belarus’ delegation. His wife, Darya Domracheva, is a Belarus biathlete. Bjoerndalen finished the 2014 spring in 24 minutes, 33.5 seconds.

Dominik Landertinger (Austria) won the silver medal, closing 1.3 seconds behind Bjoerndalen. Jaroslav Soukup (Czech) took home the bronze at 24 minutes, 39.2 seconds.

Tim Burke was the highest-finishing American in this event at Sochi, coming in 19th place at 25 minutes, 23.3 seconds. Lowell Bailey was 35th at 26 minutes, 4.1 seconds.

Team USA
Adjustments the Americans will have to make during the PyeongChang Games at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre are the wind conditions and low temperatures.

Veteran biathlete Lowell Bailey on Wednesday noted it’s “fairly challenging” when to hit targets when they can’t feel their hands.

In the women’s 7.5km sprint, Susan Dunklee, the women’s best chance at a medal, failed to qualify for Monday’s pursuit after missing five shots. In fact, Emily Dreissigacker will be the lone American to participate in the pursuit. 

“You have to be on your toes throughout the race,” Burke told reporters Wednesday, “because the wind also changes direction, which is something you don’t deal with all time.

“The wind will have a big impact on the races, but so far, from the conditions I’ve seen, it’s doable. You can hit the targets, but it will make it interesting.”

Who to watch
With Bjoerndalen no longer in the mix, there is a new Norwegian to know. Johannes Thingnes Boe, a 24-year-old from Stryn, Norway, enters second in the world cup rankings. He figures to give France’s Martin Fourcade, the favorite, a run for his money.

As for the Americans, Bailey is the most likely biathlete to medal, but Burke and Sean Doherty could also have a solid run.

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