ARLINGTON, Va. — A Utah National Guard Soldier posted the best American finish ever in the biathlon Sunday at the Winter Olympics.
SGT Jeremy Teela, a three-time Olympian, finished ninth in the men’s 10K sprint on the first day of competition in the biathlon in Whistler, British Columbia.
The previous best finish was recorded by Teela’s teammate, Jay Hakkinen, who was 10th in the Turin Olympics in 2006.
Despite missing two targets, Teela’s strong skiing pushed him five seconds ahead of one of Russia’s top skiers.With the finish, Teela started ninth in the men’s 12.5K Tuesday. He competed in the 20K event Thursday, and will compete in the 15K mass start Sunday, and the 4x7.5K relay Friday.
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Earlier this season, Teela finished third in the men’s 20K event in the World Cup, also held in Whistler. He was the first American biathlete to win a World Cup medal since 1992.
His U.S. teammates include Tim Burke, who finished 47th Sunday, but medaled twice on the 2009-2010 World Cup circuit; four-time Olympian Hakkinen, 32, of Kasilof, Alaska, who finished 54th Sunday; Lowell Bailey, 28, of Lake Placid, N.Y., who finished 36th; and first-timer Wynn Roberts, 21, of Battle Creek, Mich.