Bailey brings home silver © Nordic Focus
March 22, 2017 (Oslo, Norway) – American Lowell Bailey finished a storybook historic season this past weekend with a career-best 8th overall in the men’s World Cup overall rankings. The Lake Placid, N.Y. athlete became the first American to win an IBU World Championship title claiming historic gold in the men’s 20km Individual at the 2017 Biathlon World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria. Later he added two silver medals at world cup events.
Men’s 20km podium at IBU Worlds (l-r) Ondrej Moravec, Lowell Bailey, Martin Fourcade © Nordic Focus
At the final event of the season in Oslo, Norway, the men’s 15km Mass Start, Bailey was 15th with two penalties as Martin Fourcade of France shot clean for the victory. Andrejs Rastorgujevs of Latvia finished second for his first-ever podium suffering two missed targets at 17.4 seconds back, while Austrian Simon Eder rounded out the podium in 3rd with one miss at 32.4 seconds behind Fourcade.
Men's 15km Mass Start podium (l-r) Rastorgujevs 2nd, Fourcade 1st, Eder 3rd © Nordic Focus
“I felt really good on the track and I was able to stay on pace with the leaders of the race,” said Bailey. “Knowing this, I felt that if I put together a decent performance on the range, I could make a play for the podium. Coming into the first standing, (Anton) Shipulin just pulled over and would not lead me in, and knowing the pace of everyone else behind me, I just decided to take the lead and shoot on point one. I felt composed in the shooting, but unfortunately not all the targets went down. That being said, my approach all season has been to be decisive and focused in the range; it didn’t go as well as it did for me at world champs, but I’m still happy with my ski speed, and the fact that I was able to pull off a top-15 in a tough field, at the end of the season.”
Martin Fourcade (Fra) © IBU
Fourcade took the overall Men’s World Cup title again with 1,322 points. The Frenchman also won the overall titles in the men’s Mass Start, Pursuit, and Sprint rankings. Russian Anton Shipulin finished second to Fourcade in the World Cup overall with 918 points, also finishing second overall in the Pursuit and third overall in the Mass Start. Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway rounded out the World Cup overall in third with 812 points.
Lowell Bailey (USA) © Nordic Focus
Bailey previous best overall finish was 14th during the 2011-12 campaign – he was 17th last season. “As much as I would have liked to stay at the top of the race , I’m satisfied with how the day ended; I was able to hang on to my eighth-place overall ranking,” said Bailey.
Scott Gow (CAN) © Nordic Focus
“This was a huge goal for me heading into this last world cup. After Friday’s disappointing sprint, I was not that optimistic about my prospects, but I was able to put a decent performance together in the pursuit, gain a few points, and hold my spot in today’s mass start.”
Tim Burke (USA) finished 46th overall followed by Scott Gow of Canada in 50th, Leif Nordgren (USA) was 57th, Christian Gow (Can) was 59th, Sean Doherty (USA) was 71st, Brendan Green (Can) was 76th, Paul Schommer (USA) was 92nd and Russell Currier (USA) finished 96th.
Tim Burke (USA) © Nordic Focus
In the overall Sprint standings, Bailey finished 9th while Austrian Julian Eberhard finished second to Fourcade and Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway finished 3rd. Germany’s Arnd Peiffer claimed 2nd overall in the Pursuit rankings followed by Shipulin in 3rd and Bailey in 11th. In the Mass Start overall Simon Schempp of Germany followed Fourcade with Shipulin third and Bailey 16th, insuring the American a top-20 finish overall in each division this season.
Full Men’s 15km Mass Start Results here.
Men’s World Cup Total Score here.