Martin Fourcade led the charge on a great day for France at the Laura Biathlon centre, winning gold in the Men’s Pursuit while compatriot Jean-Gui Beatrix took the bronze. Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic won silver. Their performances gave both France and the Czech Republic their second medals in biathlon of the Games.
Starting in bib 6, Fourcade quickly joined the leaders on the first lap. Despite one penalty in the first standing shooting stage, Fourcade always seemed in control of the competition and after hitting all five targets in the final shooting, had time for a little showmanship as he gestured towards his fans in the stadium before skiing comfortably to victory.
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen narrowly missed setting a new record for medals in the Winter Olympics by a single athlete after missing one target in the final shooting and ending up fourth.
The warm weather wreaked havoc on the tracks, which were in terrible shape on Sochi’s difficult downhill sections. The sloppy, uneven snow brought down several athletes on the sharp downhill right corner. There were several falls, none more costly than JP Le Guellec’s. JP was in the lead after two shooting bouts, but he fell after the soft snow gave out from underneath him in the corner. A broken ski and binding cost him any chance he had at Olympic glory, and he ended up in 26th.
Nathan Smith was the top Canadian after another excellent performance. Smith had one penalty in the first standing shooting and ended up in 11th place. Tim Burke was 22nd, Brendan Green 35th, Lowell Bailey 38th and Leif Nordgren 53rd.