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Sumann, Khvostenko win World Cup biathlon races

1/21/2007

POKLJUKA, Slovenia -- Christoph Sumann of Austria won a
men's biathlon World Cup 15-kilometer mass start race Sunday, while
Tim Burke was sixth for the best American finish in a biathlon
event in seven years.

Oksana Khvostenko of Ukraine also hit all targets to win the
women's event.

Burke, from Paul Smiths, N.Y., was 1 minute, 29.40 seconds
behind Sumann as he matched Jay Hakkinen's sixth-place finish in
the pursuit at Ruhpolding in January 2000.

Burke, who had never scored a World Cup point until two months
ago, now ranks 22nd in the standings following the best week of his
career, which included a 13th-place finish in the sprint Thursday
and an 11th-place result Saturday in the pursuit.

Sumann, the surprise winner of the 12.5-kilometer pursuit
Saturday, was faultless at the shooting range. He won the event in
38 minutes, 24.18 seconds. He was 28.1 seconds ahead of Vincent
Defrasne of France. Andreas Birnbacher of Germany was third, 49.3
seconds back.

Germany's Michael Greis overtook Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen
in the overall standings by finishing in 20th place. Bjoerndalen
missed the meet to train ahead of the world championships in
February.

Khvostenko won the women's mass start in 41 minutes, 55.9
seconds.

Defending World Cup champion Kati Wilhelm missed three targets
and came in second, 13.4 seconds off the lead. Tadeja Brankovic was
third, with two missed shots, 23.5 behind.

Wilhelm missed twice in the first shooting round but rallied
from 26th position. She is now top of the overall standings after
the previous leader Anna Carin Oloffson placed sixth.

Wilhelm also won the 10-kilometer pursuit Friday.