Sochi 2014: Belarusian Domracheva dashes to third gold and Games first
Sochi 2014: Darya Domracheva becomes most decorated Belarusian and first woman to win three Olympic biathlon golds
As the shroud of fog lifted at Sochi, Darya Domracheva enshrined herself in Winter Olympic history by becoming the first woman to win three biathlon gold medals in one Olympic Games.
Living up to her nickname of ‘Dasha’, Domracheva broke clear from her rivals on just the second lap of the 12.5km mass start, eventually crossing the finish line 20.2 seconds clear of Czech Gabriela Soukalova.
The 27-year-old maintained outstanding levels of accuracy with her rifle on the Laura biathlon course, with a hit rate of 95% throughout her four events at Sochi.
Russians, Belarusians, we are like brothers and sisters. For me, I feel this country is really native for me
An emotional Domracheva said: “It’s amazing to be here because I dreamed about becoming an Olympic champion from my childhood. But to get three – dreams do come true.”
She then paid tribute to the atmosphere generated around the course and the support she had been given by the host nation and the ‘Russian Family’.
“All these nations, Russians, Belarusians, we are like brothers and sisters. For me, I feel this country is really native for me.”
The victory gives Domracheva the title of most decorated Belarusian athlete in Summer or Winter Olympic history, after her gold medals in the women’s pursuit and individual events last week.
Incredibly, the Belarus International Olympic Committee was on the verge of pulling all funding for biathlon in the years preceding Sochi due to a poor string of results.
Belarus’s fourth gold sees them jump to eighth in the medal table and represents a huge improvement on the solitary gold they won in Vancouver four years ago.
Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff clinched the bronze medal ahead of Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle from Germany in a tight sprint-finish.
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