Tim Burke Wears Yellow Bib in Sprint

09.01.2010, Oberhof / Jerry Kokesh
Historic Day for US Biathlon
Tim Burke of the USA starts with bib number 20 in today’s 10K Sprint, but most importantly for him and the US Biathlon program, that bib is Yellow.

Copyright IBU/ Nordic Focus
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First for USA

Burke wears the Yellow Bib, symbolic of the Overall World Cup leader for the first time personally and for the US program. No other US Biathlete has ever been contention for the top spot in World Cup Biathlon, let alone held the position.

Goal was Top 15

For the 26-year-old Burke, it is something he thought of but did not think possible until after the Sprint competition in Pokljuka, when it became clear that he had a chance to take the top spot with a good result in the Pursuit there. He explained in a recent interview, “Being near the top of the World Cup standings was a bit of an afterthought, but one of my goals for the year was to finish in the top 15 in the Overall World Cup. I definitely wanted to improve on the previous two years.”

In the Pursuit at Pokljuka, Burke needed to finish ahead of France’s Simon Fourcade in order to take the Overall World Cup lead. Burke finished 6th, using a strong final loop to stay ahead of Fourcade who finished 10th.

Proud of Burke

When he realized Burke had achieved the number one position, US Biathlon Executive Director Max Cobb said, “This is a historic moment for all of us.” At the same time, US Coach Per Nilsson commented, “This just increases Tim's and the rest of the team’s self-confidence. We are obviously proud of Tim, but he should be the proudest. He has worked hard for many years to achieve this.”

So as Burke steps out into the DKB-Ski Arena wearing the Yellow Bib, it will be a very meaningful day for both the athlete and the US Biathlon program.

A feature on Burke will appear in the next issue of Biathlonworld magazine, available in early February.

A short video interview with Burke follows.