France’s Martin Fourcade bagged his second gold of the Sochi Olympics, while Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen finished 34th in his second attempt to earn a record-breaking 13th Winter Olympic medal.
Fourcade’s run, which featured one penalty, was 12.2 seconds faster than silver medalist Erik Lesser of Germany (no penalties). Evgeniy Garanichev gave the home crowd a thrill with a bronze-medal run, finishing 34.5 seconds back of the leader on one penalty.
As for Bjoerndalen, he missed four targets (one in each range) in a distance event he wasn’t really expected to contend for a medal in. He wound up finishing 3:50.2 back of Fourcade.
Team USA-wise, Lowell Bailey delivered an eighth-place performance in the men’s 20km individual event that now stands as the best-ever individual result for the U.S. in an Olympic biathlon event.
The previous top mark belonged to Jeremy Teela, who finished ninth in the men’s 10km sprint at Vancouver four years ago.
MEN’S BIATHLON – 20km INDIVIDUAL
1. Martin Fourcade (FRA), 49:31.7
2. Erik Lesser (GER), 49:43.9
3. Evgeniy Garanichev (RUS), 50:06.2
8. Lowell Bailey (USA), 50:57.4
44. Tim Burke (USA), 54:21.2
50. Russell Currier (USA), 55:07.5
83. Leif Nordgren (USA), 58:47.6