It was the finish that everyone has been waiting for in Biathlon at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway and Martin Fourcade of France battled it out for Gold in the final stretch of the Biathlon Men’s Mass Start at the Winter Olympics. Svendsen’s ski crossed the finish line just inches ahead of Fourcade’s and the race had to be decided by photo finish. This was easily the most exciting race of all so far at Sochi. The race was so close that both Gold and Silver are recorded with a time of 42 minutes, 29.1 seconds.
This is Svendsen’s first Olympic medal in this Olympics. It is his fourth Olympic medal total. He won the Gold in the 2010 Olympics for the 20K Individual race and the Men's Relay plus a Bronze for the 10K Sprint.
Ondrej Moravec of Czech Republic took the Bronze medal with a time of 13.8 behind Svendsen and Fourcade. It is his second medal of these games; he won Silver in the 12.5K pursuit. Of Team USA, Tim Burke came in 21st and Lowell Bailey finished 23rd. They were the only Team USA members who qualified for the Mass Start, which is limited to 30 contestants.
The course was made even more difficult by drizzle that later turned into snow. The track conditions have already been undermined by days of mild weather.
Despite missing two targets in the first shoot, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway pushed to fourth place after the fourth loop. But missing four times in the fourth and final shoot dashed his chances of reaching the podium. He finished 22nd, 2:29.2 behind. He still has a chance for a 13th Winter Olympics medal, which would be a record, in the Mixed Relay tomorrow.
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