Sumann, Khvostenko win World Cup biathlon races

Updated: January 21, 2007, 3:02 PM ET
Associated Press

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.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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