Hakkinen finishes 17th in sprint

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kasilof biathlete Jay Hakkinen, with a 10-for-10 performance on the shooting range, finished 17th in the 10-kilometer World Cup sprint on Saturday in Ruhpolding, Germany.

It was Hakkinen's first perfect shooting performance this year and also his best World Cup finish since the season-opening 20-kilometer individual in Finland, where he placed ninth.

After some struggles with his shooting before the Christmas break, Hakkinen got back on track on Thursday in the men's relay at Ruhpolding.

"The relay was a very big confidence booster and I hope to keep the momentum going," Hakkinen said in a video feed available on usbiathlon.com.

The race was made difficult by a slight drizzle.

"It was tough conditions, a lot slower than the relay, but the skiing was as hard as it could be," Hakkinen said. "The focus was on the shooting. Ruhpolding is a great shooting range."

Hakkinen finished 1:23.7 behind winner Michael Greis of Germany. That leaves him in good position for today's pursuit.

"It was a hard race," Hakkinen said. "I was a bit sick a few weeks ago, but now I feel that I am coming back."

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