Nove Mesto, Czech Republic (NEWS CENTER)-- Russell Currier of New Sweden, Maine finished sixth today in a World Cup Biathlon. It is a break out for the twenty-five year old Currier and the Maine Winter Sports Center which began training Maine kids in the sport fifteen years ago.
Currier was named to the U. S. Biathlon team after a seventh place finish in an IBU Cup race a week ago, which is the equivalent of Triple-A in American baseball. Like a rookie pitcher called to the big leagues, Currier wore number 103 in today's race and started late in the field.
On a snowy and windy day, Currier's performance was a show stopper as it came late in the 10K Sprint event. Competitors start at thirty second intervals and many of the top athletes were finished when Currier's performance began turning heads. With a stiff breeze blowing from left to right on the range, Currier was one of only two athletes to shoot "clean," meaning he hit all ten targets. Missing a target requires the skier to ski a penalty loop of about thirty seconds.
Currier began skiing at his grammar school in the small Aroostook County town of New Sweden. His first skis and early instruction were part of a program sponsored by the Maine Winter Sports Center. He has been among the top Americans for the past few years, but has lacked consistency. The past fortnight as seen his emergence.
Emil Svendsen of Norway won the race. Brothers Simon and Martin Courcade of France were second and third. Anton Shipulin and Andrei Makoveev of Russia were fourth and fifth. Currier was four seconds behind Makoveev and twenty-three behind the race winner.
American Olympians Tim Burke finished eleventh, Lowell Bailey was twenty-first and Jay Hakkinen was thirty-first.