ZHANGJIAKOU, China (AP) — Johannes Thingnes Boe looked like his old self again, dominating from the start and holding his composure through the four shooting stages to win the Olympic gold medal Friday in the biathlon mass start race.
The Norwegian great threw his arms in the air as he crossed the line in 38 minutes, 14.4 seconds.
Martin Ponsiluoma of Sweden only missed one target in the last shooting and left the range chasing Boe. He earned silver, 40.3 seconds behind Boe. Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen of Norway shot clean in the last shooting and took bronze, finishing 1:12.5 behind.
In the women’s race, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet moved to the front with strong, patient shooting and stayed there with her cross-country skiing to win the women’s mass start.
A bitter wind affected the field as they lined up each time to shoot, but Braisaz-Bouchet only missed once in the last standing shooting and skied out of the range in first place. She held on and crossed the line carrying a French flag in 40:18.
Norwegian teammates Tiril Eckhoff and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland missed two targets each in that last bout and left the range together, 48 seconds behind the Frenchwoman. Eckhoff chased hard and crossed the line for the silver, trailing Braisaz-Bouchet by 15.3 seconds.
Roeiseland took bronze — her fifth medal at the Beijing Games.
Roeiseland is the second biathlete, male or female, to win a medal in all four individual events at an Olympics, matching Norwegian great Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. She also won gold in the mixed relay.
The women’s competition was moved up from Saturday to Friday, just before the men’s race, because of cold temperatures and high winds in the forecast. It was minus 13 degrees C (8.6 degrees F) at the range with strong wind.
The brutal wind and cold has taken a toll on the athletes.
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