Vancouver Olympics: USA 13th in Men's 4x7.5km biathlon relay
From US Biathlon
The U.S. men’s relay team finished 13th today in the final biathlon competition at Whistler Olympic Park. After experiencing some ski problems, the U.S. team with Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, Alaska), Tim Burke (N.Y.) and Jeremy Teela (Heber City, Utah) finished 6:20.2 minutes behind the Norwegians, who took the gold medal. Silver went to the Austrian team who beat the bronze medal-winning Russian team on the last meters. With four penalty loops overall, the U.S. relay was the only team with more than two penalties that managed to finish in Top 15.
Lowell Bailey: "I felt like we were one of the best prepared teams around so we yet have to figure out why we could not meet our experiences. I have to say for myself that I took my time at the shooting range to do well. But unfortunately, today I saw one of the best shootings ever from the whole field so you had to stay clean to have a chance. So it was just not happening for me today."
Jay Hakkinen: "I think I wanted too much. I really wanted to close that gap to the main group so I might have gone too aggressive into the standing shooting. That was exactly what my coach told me not to do. He asked me to focus on myself and not on the others but that’s what I did. I just wanted to move up a bit to make it easier so that Tim could have a chance on the podium. But that wasn’t the thing I was supposed to do, so it backfired."
Tim Burke: "After that performance, I really need to refocus before heading to Europe for the World Cup. But I hope for a fresh start there. That experience here was horrifying but we also learned a lot from it. So from now on each day over the next four years, my focus will be on Sochi and the 2014 Olympics. I will do whatever it takes to not repeat those results."
Jeremy Teela: "After that race the only thing you can do is to move on to the next ones. It will take some time to review all that happened but I think we will come out of it stronger. We certainly have to make some adjustments in skiing and shooting but we learned from the mistakes we made here. I am certain that U.S. Biathlon is on the right way."
Photo: Viktoria Franke, US Biathlon