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Fourcade wins second Biathlon Gold medal at Sochi

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Martin Fourcade of France won a second Gold medal today in Biathlon for the Individual event at the Winter Olympics. His time over the 20 kilometer course was 49 minutes, 31.7 seconds despite missing one target. This is his third Olympic medal in Biathlon.

A strong performance in shooting, no misses, enabled Erik Lesser of Germany to take the Silver medal. The Bronze medal went to Evgeniy Garanichev of Russia, who had only one miss.

Lowell Bailey finished eighth, the best Biathlon finish ever at the Olympics for Team USA. Tim Burke finished 44, Russell Currier was 50, and Leif Nordgren came in at 83. Reflecting back on his less than stellar performance during the Pursuit, Bailey commented that today was:

the textbook definition of biathlon. One day, you can be at the bottom and the other day you can be at the top, which for me was in a matter of 72 hours.

The Individual event is called a ‘shooting’ race because, instead of skiing penalty loops for misses, one minute is added to the biathlete’s time for each miss. Penalty loops typically take 23-25 seconds. Individual consists of five laps around a 4 kilometer course, interspersed with four shoots, in the order of prone, standing, prone, and standing. Since the race is long, the ability of control one’s breathing and focus during the shooting stages is critical. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who won the Gold in the Sprint, had four misses, which put him in 34th place for the Individual.

The Women’s Individual will take place tomorrow.

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