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January 27. 2013 2:51PM

Conway teen wins world biathlon title


Sean Doherty, 17, of Conway, waves the American flag in celebration after winning the 10-kilometer pursuit at the Youth World Championships in Obertilliach, Austria, on Sunday. (US BIATHLON ASSOCIATION)

Sean Doherty of Conway followed up a silver-medal performance on Friday with gold on Sunday, winning the 10-kilometer biathlon pursuit by a commanding 28.2 seconds in the Youth World Championships in Obertilliach, Austria.
 
Doherty, a 17-year-old student at Conway's Kennett High School, posted a winning time of 29 minutes 31 seconds in the cross-country skiing and shooting event. Rene Zahkna of Estonia was second in 29:59.2, followed by Fredrick Roervik of Norway in 30:03.5.

"It feels great to be world champion. It's amazing and has been a goal of mine," Doherty said in a release from the U.S. Biathlon Association. "During the race, I felt really good and very in control. I recognized I had a good lead going, which was good since I wasn't feeling superb skiing. I was glad to be in charge of the race from there. I made sure I didn't get ahead of myself and stayed focused on one thing at a time.
 
"I was a little bit nervous to start second today, but I had a really good plan and stuck with that and it worked out great. I was glad that I was able to keep a calm head throughout all the shooting."

"As Sean came into the fourth stage today, I was pretty sure he would win, and that's what he did," said U.S. Biathlon Coach Vladimir Cervenka. "It was very exciting for all of the staff and athletes."

Doherty placed second in Friday's 7.5-kilometer sprint, finishing just 3.6 seconds behind France's Fabian Claude, in 21:16.


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