Bjoerndalen Wins Gold In Biatholon
Posted by Rudy Martinez on Feb 8, 2014 - 6:49:01 PM
SOCHI—History was written for the best biathlete in the world, as 40-year-old Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won his seventh career Olympic gold medal and became the most decorated Olympic winter athlete in history. Bjoerndalen won the men’s 10-km biathlon sprint on Saturday, finishing 1.4 seconds ahead of
Austria’s Dominik Landertinger. The Norwegian finished the race in 24:33.5 to secure his 12th medal to become the oldest athlete to win a gold medal in the winter games.
The men’s 10-km Biathlon sprint got underway with
France’s Vincent Jay vying for a second straight gold medal after winning gold in 2010. He appeared in his sixth Winter Olympics.
After the first lap, Czech biathlete Ondrej Moravec took the lead after qualifying for an early start to the race. At the first round of shooting, Bjoerndalen went five for five on the range, taking the lead away and gaining ground fast. His teammate Emil Hegle Svendsen followed him out as the Norwegians looked to sweep the event 1-2. Landertinger looked to be the big upset as he went clean through all the shooting rounds and finished in first, but Bjoerndalen began to move ahead on the time that Landertinger posed with one lap to go.
Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen wins seventh gold medal in Men's Biathlon.
Bjoerndalen missed his first shot on the second round of shooting as the requirement to stand up while shooting got him to miss a rare one. American Tim Burke cleared the first round, as he was trying to become the first athlete from the
United States to win a medal in any biathlon event. His second round was one to forget as he missed his second shot that took him completely out of any chance to win a medal. Burke ended the race in 19th with a time of 25:23.3. Svendsen looked to take Landertinger out of second place, but on the final home stretch he lost all energy and fell into a temporary fourth place.
With Bjoerndalen still on the track, the Norwegian came into the final sprint and put everything on the line. He sprinted to the finish by a nose over Landertinger to secure the gold medal for the time being. “The speed I found from the start made a big progression in the race,” said Bjoerndalen. “I started quite slow and got faster and faster and the last loop I had enough speed to keep it on into the finish line and that was good enough. Today was my day and I was lucky today.”
Russia’s biggest hope was in Anton Shipulin who ran through the competition with the home crowd screaming their countryman on in the final yards. The 26-year-old couldn’t break through the pace of the leaders, as Shipulin and the fans were stunned when he finished seven tenths of a second from a bronze medal. The Czech’s were not out of the running despite Moravec finishing eighth, as countryman Jaroslav Soukup took the bronze with it being their first ever in the event.
With all the major competitors across the finish line Bjoerndalen could finally bask in his 20-year success at the Winter Olympic Games. The Olympic champion will go for the all-time record on Monday in the 12.5-km pursuit where the top finisher starts the race first with the slowest leaving the starting line last. “Everything is possible but there are so many good athletes in our discipline so I think it will be hard to make it a game but we will see,” he said when asked about breaking the record.