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Clare Egan notches first World Cup podium in biathlon season finale

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In the final biathlon event of the 2018-19 season, American Clare Egan recorded her first career World Cup podium finish, placing third in the mass start in Oslo, Norway. She hit 19 of 20 targets and crossed the finish line 10.4 seconds behind winner Hanna Oberg of Sweden. Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff finished second.

Egan, 31, made her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but considered retiring from biathlon at the end of the last season. “I decided that I wanted to do one more year, just for fun, just to see how much I could learn and how good a biathlete I could become,” Egan said in a U.S. Biathlon press release.

Her decision to continue has paid off: since the start of the 2018-19 season, Egan has posted the top eight finishes of her career (including three top-10 results). She concludes the season ranked 18th in the overall World Cup standings.

“I skied much faster this year than I have in the past and I think that was due to finally finding a good balance in my training, between working hard and resting. I did not train more, but the quality was much higher. I’m very excited for the next season,” Egan told U.S. Biathlon.

Three more biathletes qualify for U.S. Olympic team

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Tim BurkeSean Doherty and Clare Egan make it five biathletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team.

The trio clinched berths with the conclusion of the fall World Cups in France this weekend. There is one more set of mass-start races Sunday, but no U.S. biathletes not already qualified are entered.

Burke and Doherty join world champion Lowell Bailey via top-30 finishes this season. Egan joins world silver medalist Susan Dunklee as the other top-finishing U.S. woman this season.

Burke is the biggest name of the trio. The 35-year-old former standard bearer of U.S. biathlon is going to his fourth Olympics.

Burke was once the hope to win the first U.S. Olympic medal in biathlon, the only Winter Olympic sport where the U.S. has yet to make a podium.

He led the World Cup overall standings in 2009 and won a 2013 World Championships silver medal but hasn’t been better than 18th individually at the Winter Games.

Bailey, also going to his fourth Olympics, succeeded Burke as the top U.S. man in recent seasons. Burke’s best World Cup finish since Sochi was sixth.

Doherty was the first U.S. teenage biathlete to compete at an Olympics in 2014 at age 18. He only competed in the relay in Sochi but has since grown to become the No. 2 American behind Bailey this season.

Doherty ranked No. 71 in last year’s World Cup standings. This season, he’s No. 27.

Egan will go to her first Olympics at age 31. She made her World Cup debut in 2015 and finished 20th and 22nd in two races at last season’s world championships.

The rest of the U.S. Olympic biathlon team — up to 10 biathletes total — will be determined in January.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic team roster