Hakkinen takes 18th in World Cup

Sports Briefs

Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2007

Kasilof biathlete Jay Hakkinen hit all 10 of his targets to finish 18th in a 10-kilometer World Cup sprint in Lahti, Finland, on Saturday.

The finish also left Hakkinen in good position for the 12.5-kilometer pursuit today. Although he finished 18th, he was just 41.3 seconds behind winner Raphael Poiree of France.

In the women’s sprint on Friday, Americans Lanny and Tracy Barnes shot clean. Hakkinen followed that up with his first clean performance of the season Saturday.

“I did take some inspiration from the girls’ clean shooting yesterday,” Hakkinen told the U.S. Biathlon Web site. “My shooting in training has been very good all year.

“It was time for it to show up in a race. Shooting clean is good for my confidence. If I can continue to do that, I will have more good races in the next couple of weeks.”

Hakkinen also was pleased with his skiing.

“I like this kind of tough course,” he said. “It suits me well. It was firm and fast today. I had the feeling that I was working hard, but going fast. Having fast skis, as we had today, really helps too.”

Hakkinen wants to keep the strong finishes coming today so he can get into the Mass Start fields at the next two World Cups. The top 30 in World Cup points automatically make the Mass Start field. Hakkinen is currently tied for 37th place.

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