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Domracheva comes from behind to win Women’s Biathlon Pursuit

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Darya Domracheva of Belarus won the Gold medal in the Women’s 10 kilometer Biathlon Pursuit today. She started in ninth position, 32 seconds behind the starter, Anastasiya Kuzmina, based on their finishes in the Sprint event. However, Darya skied hard and shot well to win the Gold. Her finish time of 29:30.7 was 37.6 seconds ahead of the next finisher.

Tora Berger of Norway took the Silver medal with a time of 30:08.3. Teja Gregorin of Slovenia had a time of 30:12.7, winning her the Bronze.

Unlike the Sprint event, which is somewhat of a time trial, Pursuit places the athletes behind each other in order of their finish in the Sprint and with a time penalty based on their time in the Sprint. So the skiers after first start must catch up to the starter and avoid losing time to penalty laps for missed shots. This makes the event very exciting to watch.

All three of the medalists missed only one target of the 20 targets that had to be shot. Marksmanship hurt Team USA members. Susan Dunklee missed four targets, which pushed her into fourteenth place. Sara Studebaker and Annelies Cook each missed five targets and they finished 51st and 54th, respectively.

Dunklee noted that she momentarily lost her mental concentration when going into the fourth shoot. She missed three targets in that shoot, which hurt her finish badly.

The next biathlon event will be the Men's 20 km Individual, which takes place Thursday.

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