Sochi 2014: Bjoerndalen’s ‘best ever’ tag on ice as Martin Fourcade bags gold
Sochi 2014: France's Martin Fourcade wins overdue first biathlon gold to deny Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen 'best ever' tag
Martin Fourcade recovered from his disappointing sixth place in the biathlon sprint by winning his first Olympic gold in the 12.5km pursuit as Norway’s 12-time medallist Ole Einar Bjoerndalen was denied a record 13th podium finish.
The Frenchman admitted to shedding a few tears of dejection after his sprint performance, but those will change to tears of joy as he dominated the field which included Bjoerndalen, who finished fourth by a fraction in his bid to become the most decorated Winter Olympian having pulled level with compatriot Bjorn Daehlie on Saturday.
Fourcade won a silver in Vancouver and went one better in Sochi, missing only one of his 20 shots and capitalising on his rivals errors with both the gun and the skis.
Canadian Jean-Philippe le Guellec headed into the third of the five laps in first place with a 20-metre lead having hit all of his first 10 shots, only to fall on one of the downhill sections when his costly error dropped him back to 14th position.
Fourcade remained calm with the gun while Bjoerndalen missed shots on the third and fourth shoot, forcing him to undertake laps of the penalty loop which dropped him back to fifth place.
And Fourcade pumped his fists to the crowd after hitting all five targets on his final range appearance, before setting off on a cautious but celebratory last lap.
Czech Ondrej Moravec came in 14 seconds back for the silver medal, ten seconds ahead of France’s Jean Guillaume Beatrix who pipped Bjoerndalen.
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