Dahlmeier of Germany wins women's biathlon 10 km pursuit at PyeongChang Olympics

Martin Fourcade

Martin Fourcade

Martin Fourcade rediscovered his shooting touch to become the first athlete to defend an Olympic biathlon pursuit title, making 19 of his 20 shots to secure his third Olympic gold medal in a dominant performance in the 12.5km race.

The 24-year-old Dahlmeier became the first woman to win both the women's sprint and pursuit in a single Winter Olympics.

Normally superbly accurate in the shooting, the Frenchman missed three of his 10 shots in Sunday's sprint on the way to finishing eighth, leaving him wondering what had happened as he prepared for the pursuit race 24 hours later. Slovakian Anastasia Kuzmina won the silver medal, coming in 29.4 seconds behind Dahlmeier.

Already France's most decorated winter Olympian prior to the race, Fourcade brought his tally to five medals overall including three golds. Now, she's 1 for 1 in it at the Olympics. She hit all five targets as Kuzmina had two misses, effectively ending her gold medal chances.

She said: "It feels really great, it's unbelievable".

Asked to elaborate on how she managed to stay focused when others around her got rattled, Dahlmeier laughed. I felt really, really exhausted before the race and also during the race in the first laps.

"It's the same in any pressure race".

The German's absence from the head of the pack did not last long, however, and Kuzmina's hopes were dashed when she missed two targets amid strong winds at the third shooting stage.

Kuzmina's costly miss nearly came back to haunt her as Bescond battled her all the way for the silver medal, but the Slovakian managed to slide a ski across the line first to edge out her French rival by the finest of margins.

"It's always, always about your mind, it's always about if you believe and today it was for (a) sure really good fight for gold but for silver I am also happy".