Fourcade's collapse hands biathlon gold to Boe

From ESPN - February 15, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- Martin Fourcade's rare collapse on the final shoot of the 20-kilometer individual race handed Norwegian rival Johannes Thingnes Boe his first Olympic gold medal in biathlon Thursday.

Fourcade, the world's top-ranked biathlete and already a gold medalist at the Pyeongchang Games, shockingly missed his final two targets.

"That was like a gift," Boe said. "Even if he had only missed one of the last two shots, he would have been the winner."

Fourcade appeared to have victory in his sights after making his first 18 shots and building a 90-second lead over the field. But the Frenchman rolled his eyes in disgust after missing two straight shots and then furiously skied to the finish line in an attempt to salvage a medal, but wound up fifth.

Jakov Fak of Slovenia took home silver, and Dominik Landertinger of Austria captured the bronze after returning from back surgery in September. Both had clean shoots.

Boe is second in the World Cup standings and has been Fourcade's chief rival this season.

He also missed two shots in the race but finally found the podium after two disappointing performances in his first two events in Pyeongchang. Boe had participated in seven previous events at the Winter Games but had yet to win a medal.

Boe, who appropriately used a golden rifle, could not hold back his tears as the race ended.

"Amazing," Boe said of the feeling, knowing he could not celebrate too long. "I know [Fourcade] will be taking his frustration out in the mass start and will be hard to beat."

Fak is only the second Slovenian athlete to win a medal in biathlon at the Winter Games. Teja Gregorin won bronze in the women's 10-kilometer pursuit in 2014.


Continue reading at ESPN »