Dahlmeier shoots clean to claim biathlon sprint gold
Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier shot a perfect ten out of ten as she stormed to Olympic gold in the women’s 7.5km biathlon sprint at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre on Saturday 10 February. Norway’s Marte Olsbu took the silver and Veronika Vitkova of the Czech Republic the bronze.
The 24-year-old German thumped her chest as she crossed the line, 24.2 seconds ahead of Olsbu, her maiden Olympic victory made all the sweeter by the fact it came in the one and only event she had failed to win at the 2017 World Championships.
Mastering strong winds, which made for challenging shooting and skiing conditions, Dahlmeier was one of only three members of the 60-strong field to shoot clean in both the prone and standing positions.
“It is so amazing and I do not know what to say,” said Germany’s first gold medallist of the Games afterwards.
I am so happy and proud because it was a hard race today. In the last loop, my coach told me to fight for every second because there were some athletes behind me, and that I should run for my life.Laura Dahlmeier Germany
Describing her emotions on claiming her first Olympic gold and a record seventh medal for Germany in the event, Dahlmeier said: “It’s the biggest thing you can achieve as an athlete.”
An early miss in the prone, proved costly for Olsbu, leaving her in a battle for silver with Vitkova. The Norwegian would win it by a mere 1.6 seconds to claim her country’s first Olympic medal in the event.
World Cup leader Kaisa Makarainen of Finland missed three of her ten shots and finished well down the field in 25th, while defending two-time Olympic champion Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia did likewise and could finish no higher than 13th.