Bjoerndalen, who turned 40 earlier this year, tied Bjørn Dæhlie as the most decorated winter Olympian of all time, and earned a medal in his fifth straight Olympics. Bjoerndalen now has 7 gold medals, and 12 medals in total over five Olympic Winter Games. He is in great position to pass Dæhlie with pole position in the Pursuit and a spot on the powerhouse Norwegian relay teams.
Bjoerndalen had one penalty in standing but blew away the field with his skiing. Dominik Landertinger won the silver, his second Olympic medal after winning silver in the Men’s Relay in 2010 Landertinger shot clean, but was just 1.3 seconds slower than Bjoerndalen. Jaroslav Soukup won bronze, shooting clean and finishing 5.7 seconds back; an amazing achievement after coming a long way back from a serious training injury last year.
23 competitors finished within one minute of Bjoerndalen, making for an exciting Pursuit competition on Monday.
JP Le Guellec shot clean and finished in 5th, just four seconds out of an historic first medal in Men’s biathlon for Canada. Nathan Smith had an excellent Olympic debut, shooting clean and finishing 36.2 seconds back in 11th place. Other North American qualifiers for the Pursuit were Tim Burke (19th, one penalty, +49.8), Brendan Green (23rd, one penalty, +58.2), Lowell Bailey (35th, two penalties, +1:30.6) and Leif Nordgren (45th, no penalties, +1:43.9). Russell Currier just missed out in 61st, and Scott Perras was 74th.
Here are the complete results.