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Fourcade of France wins Men’s Biathlon Pursuit at Sochi

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Martin Fourcade of France won the Gold medal in the Winter Olympics Men’s Pursuit today. His time was 33 minutes and 48.6 seconds over the 12.5 kilometer course, which included shooting five targets four times, twice from prone and twice from standing. He only had one miss in the shoots. This is his second Olympic medal, having won the Silver medal in 2010 for the Mass Start biathlon event.

The Silver medal was won by Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic and, in a strong finish by the French team, Jean Guillaume Beatrix of France took the Bronze. Tim Burke of the USA finished number 22. His American teammates Lowell Bailey made 38 and Leif Nordgren ranked 53

One commentator noted: “As the body starts to tire, the mistakes begin at the range.” That perhaps was true for Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway who finished fourth. After tieing it on Saturday, he hoped to break the record for the most medals won at the Winter Olympics. He missed one target on each of the last three shoots. Each miss required him to complete a penalty loop before continuing the race. Penalty loops average 23 seconds. Bjoerndalen was only 1.7 seconds out of the Bronze position and 25.9 seconds out of the Gold. The two Relay events still give him a ‘shot’ at breaking the record.

One hairpin turn in the course proved troublesome to a few of the lower ranked athletes. Several fell while negotiating the turn. This added a significant amount of time to their finish. Fourcade almost fell once but recovered in time.

The Women’s Pursuit will take place tomorrow.

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