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Olympics-Biathlon-Blistering Boe takes new biathlon gold, brother bags bronze

Randy Mancini 4 Feb 12
Biathlon - Men's 10km Sprint
2022 Beijing Olympics - Biathlon - Men's 10km Sprint - National Biathlon Centre, Zhangjiakou, China - February 12, 2022. Gold medallist Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway celebrates. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

February 12, 2022

By Philip O’Connor

ZHANGJIAKOU, China (Reuters) – Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe blazed to another Olympic gold medal in the men’s 10 km sprint event at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday while his brother Tarjei won bronze, their second medals of the Games after last week’s mixed relay win.

France’s Quentin Fillon Maillet came in second to add a silver medal to the gold he secured in the men’s individual race and a relay silver, on a night that the Boe brothers made their own.

“It is a fairy tale you could write, to be on the podium with Johannes,” said Tarjei. “It is big for me … there is a lot of joy but also relief … to share this together both as a team, and for the rest of our lives.”

Starting 16th, the younger Boe flew out of the traps and hit all five of his shots to open a lead of 20.1 seconds over his nearest competitor in perfect weather conditions as the sun began to slide down behind the mountains of Zhangjiakou to the west.

Each racer had two visits to the shooting range, one in the prone position and one standing, with each miss incurring a penalty loop of 150 metres before rejoining the course.

A miss with his second shot while standing sent Boe for a lap of the penalty loop, but it made little difference as his trademark powerful skiing increased his lead.

Boe crossed the line with a lead of 40.6 seconds, collapsing face first on the snow and sucking down huge gulps of air after his exertions as the long wait for the rest of the field to finish began.

Maillet shot clean from the standing position to get himself back in contention for the podium, but he couldn’t match Boe’s energy on the skis.

Sweden’s 2018 Olympic champion Sebastian Samuelsson finally found some form, skiing an electrifying final lap before finishing in fifth position, but the day belonged to the Boe brothers and in particular to Johannes, whose eventual winning margin was 32.1 seconds, with Tarjei eight seconds further back.

“It was an extremely good race, it was a perfectly planned race. I heard I was leading, so today knew it was the day. I had very good skis too,” said Johannes Boe, before adding his congratulations to his sibling.

“I am so pleased Tarjei is in third place,” a beaming Boe said.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Hugh Lawson & Shri Navaratnam)