Russia wins biathlon relay gold; Bjoerndalen denied record

The Sports NetworkFebruary 22, 2014 

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Russia closed out the biathlon with a gold medal in the men's 4x7.5-kilometer relay, denying Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen a Winter Olympics record ninth gold medal.

Bjoerndalen, the third of Norway's four racers, was dominant during his run, going 5-for-5 through both of his shooting stations and handed Emil Hegle Svendsen a two-second lead after the final exchange.

Svendsen, though, misfired from both the prone and standing positions, forcing him to take a penalty lap, while allowing Russia and Germany to move in front.

With Bjoerndalen's chance at history gone, it became a neck-and-neck race down the stretch, but Russian Anton Shipulin pulled away from Germany's Simon Schempp over the final 100 yards to help Russia claim the gold with a time of 1 hour, 12 minutes and 15.9 seconds, 3.5 seconds ahead of the Germans.

Russia was a bronze medal winner in this event in Vancouver.

Austria, meanwhile, claimed the bronze, finishing in 1:12:45.7. It had been a silver medal winner four years ago.

The 40-year-old Bjoerndalen, participating in his sixth and likely final Olympic Games, had moved past cross-country skiing compatriot Bjorn Daehlie for the most medals all-time in the Winter Olympics with a gold medal win in the mixed relay on Wednesday.

Another win on Saturday would have vaulted him past Daehlie for most golds all-time in the Winter Olympics.

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