U.S. Qualifies All Four Women for Olympic Pursuit
by US Biathlon
Susan Dunklee (r) races in the women's 7.5km sprint on Feb. 11, 2022 (photo by Nordic Focus)
BEIJING, China (Feb. 11, 2022) – Susan Dunklee (Craftsbury, Vt./Craftsbury Green Racing Project & USBA) set the pace for the rest of the U.S. women's team during Friday's 7.5-kilometer sprint at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. Dunklee's top-30 performance at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Center led the way for all four American women to qualify for Sunday's 10km pursuit, the first time that has happened in U.S. Biathlon Olympic history. She used clean shooting to finish 27th in the field of 89, 1 minute, 55.2 seconds back of gold medalist Marte Olsbu Roeiseland of Norway.
"It's one of my favorite formats," said Dunklee of the sprint. "I'm really proud of cleaning tonight. This is my third championship sprint in a row in three years that I've cleaned."
Also qualifying for Sunday's pursuit by way of a top-60 finish in Friday's sprint were Dunklee's teammates Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.), Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, Wis./National Guard Biathlon & USBA) and Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Craftsbury Green Racing Project & USBA). Reid placed 34th (+2:10.6/+2), Irwin was 37th (+2:25.8/+2) and Egan finished 46th (+2:32.1/+3).
Friday's sprint performance by the U.S. women's team was a marked improvement from the last Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, when only Emily Dreissigacker qualified for the pursuit with a 51st-place finish.
"We had four Americans make it into the pursuit, which is huge for us," Dunklee added. "Pursuit is one of the most fun races. You chase people down, you're hunting. I love coming from behind and trying to catch people, so I think that's really going to be in my element."
Roeiseland shot clean to claim the women's sprint in a time of 20:44.3. The silver and bronze medalists also went clean on the range to join Roeiseland on the podium. Sweden's Elvira Oeberg was 30.9 seconds behind and Italy's Dorothea Wierer was 37.2 seconds back.
The biathlon competition in Beijing continues on Saturday with the men's 10km sprint beginning at 4:00 a.m. EST.
Women's 7.5k sprint results
Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (NOR)
Elvira Oeberg (SWE)
Dorothea Wierer (ITA)
Susan Dunklee (Craftsbury, Vt.)
||Joanne Reid (Grand Junction, Colo.)||+2:10.6/+2|
||Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, Wis.)||+2:25.8/+2|
||Clare Egan (Cape Elizabeth, Maine.)||+2:32.1/+3|
Check out the Watch Olympic Biathlon schedule for viewing options of all the races from Beijing. You can also follow all the action on the IBU app - download it today!
Biathlon Event Schedule for Beijing 2022 Olympic Games (all times EST)
Saturday, Feb. 5
4:00 am – Mixed relay
Monday, Feb. 7
4:00 am – Women’s 15km individual
Tuesday, Feb. 8
3:30 am – Men’s 20km individual
Friday, Feb. 11
4:00 am – Women’s 7.5km sprint
Saturday, Feb. 12
4:00 am – Men’s 10km sprint
Sunday, Feb. 13
4:00 am – Women’s 10km pursuit
5:45 am – Men’s 12.5km pursuit
Tuesday, Feb. 15
4:00 am – Men’s 4x7.5km relay
Wednesday, Feb. 16
2:45 am – Women’s 4x6km relay
Friday, Feb. 18
4:00 am – Men’s 15km mass start
Saturday, Feb. 19
4:00 am – Women’s 12.5km mass start