March 03, 2017 (PyeongChang, South Korea) – American Susan Dunklee didn’t miss a step, finishing a stellar 5th in the women’s 7.5km sprint competition at the IBU World Cup in PyeongChang following a brief hiatus after the Biathlon Worlds.
Dunklee hasn’t raced since her silver medal performance at the world championship mass start on February 19th, but she was excited to race on next year’s Olympic course.
Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier won the race in a time of 20:43.7, 8.4 seconds ahead of Norwegian Tiril Eckhoff. Anais Chevalier finished 3rd, 41.6 seconds back. All three podium finishers shot clean.
After the race, Dunklee said, “it’s exciting to see the Olympic courses for the first time. I felt patient and relaxed during the race and had a lot of confidence coming off the world championships.” She added that “the course basically has two big climbs which suits me well. Our techs nailed the ski preparation perfectly and our entire team had fantastic shooting with 90 percent hits. We are ready to make this course our course.”
Indeed, the four US women competing all shot 9 out of 10 on the range, with three qualifying for Saturday’s pursuit. After the race, Clare Egan commented, “as a team we notched our best performance of the year with three in the top 35 and all four athletes shooting nine for 10. It will be an exciting pursuit for Team USA on Saturday.”
Egan finished 33rd (+1:59.5), closely followed by American teammate Joanne Reid in 35th (+2:07.6). Maddie Phaneuf for the USA just missed qualifying for the pursuit in 68th (+3:07.7).
The Canadian women also had a very strong day, with all four athletes qualifying for Saturday’s pursuit. Rosanna Crawford finished in 30th (+1:54.9), with a single miss in the prone shooting stage.
North America will have seven women competing in Saturday’s pursuit, and it should be an exciting race to watch.