Overwhelming Sprint Gold for JT Boe in Beijing

Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe despite a single standing penalty led the Beijing Men’s Olympic 10 km Sprint from start to finish taking the Gold medal in 24:00.4. The Norwegian’s wire-to-wire victory was the three-time World Cup Total Score titlist his first Championship sprint title since winning at the 2019 IBU World Championships. Today’s Gold medal was the Norwegian’s sixth career OWG medal and his second Gold medal of these Games. He anchored Norway’s mixed relay to victory last Saturday and also won the Bronze medal in the men’s 20 km individual earlier this week. France’s Quentin Fillon Maillet, also with one penalty won the Silver medal, 25.5 seconds back, after winning the 20 km Individual Gold medal on Tuesday. JT’s older brother Tarjei, with one penalty completed the podium taking the Bronze medal, 38.9 seconds back. Tarjei’s Bronze medal was the first individual OWG medal in 33-year-old’s career. He previously won a Relay Gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games, Relay Silver at Pyeongchang in 2018 and Mixed Relay Gold at these Beijing OWG.

“One of my best sprint races”

Regarding his overwhelming victory, JT commented, “I saved some power on the skis. I felt good on the range and I had a good finish even though I was really tired. I put down one of my best sprint races in my life and am happy it was today.”

Header iconBeijing 2022 Men's Sprint

Historic Sibling Podium

With JT taking the Gold medal and Tarjei the Bronze, it was what the brothers call a “Boedium” and they become the first siblings in history to share an individual podium at the Olympic Winter Games. Seventh place Sturla Holm Laegreid expressed his happiness for the brothers. “I congratulate both of them. They have been the perfect teammates since I joined this team. They are such nice people. I am really happy for them, especially Tarjei, his first individual Olympic medal. It is just good to be part of this team.”

Emotional Tarjei

Tarjei was super emotional about his medal. “I would change everything in my life for this. It was the one thing I missed. I worked so hard for this, not only this year but the last four years, I needed to prepare the best and hope for some luck. After the 20K, I wondered if there was a spell on my Olympic career. Why can’t I ever have some luck? It was that feeling of never having any luck when the shots go in and out. Today I had luck, 1.5 seconds. I am not a quitter, I just continue. That is my strength. There was a chance I would never manage it but now I have a medal.”

“We are a strong team”

Regarding how proud he was of JT, “I saw it quite early, 10 years ago or earlier that he would be in some ways unbeatable. My goal was to win as much as I could before he grew up and I did…Now by far he is the best athlete in the world. At this altitude and on this track, it is like a glove fitting his hand. He is so strong here. It is not the last medal he will take. (Today) is a good picture of our career. We have done this before but not that many times…He came from behind and learned from me. He is the star; Gold medal winner and I am the fighter. Together we are a strong team. That we managed to do it on the biggest stage is a great piece of history for us.”

JT on Tarjei: “more proud of him than myself”

The Gold medalist heaped praise on his brother. “So proud. I am more proud of him than myself. His Bronze medal means Gold to him. That is why I am so happy…He was a pain in the but before he moved out at age 16, then we saw less of each other and we were friends when we met. That is why I can race so hard here because in the first years, there was a lot of fighting with him. Biathlon is easy compared to all of the competitions I have had with him.”

ROC’s Maksim Tsvetkov, one of only five men in the field to shoot clean finished fourth, 40.6 seconds back. Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson with one penalty finished fifth, 52 seconds back while his teammate Martin Ponsiluoma, with two penalties, finished sixth, 53.7 seconds back.

Wind Challenges

The 94-man field had almost as good conditions as the women yesterday. A bit of light snow earlier in the day had little effect on the tracks, with the temperature hovering at a chilly -8C with just a moderate wind ruffling the flags on the shooting range, but just enough to make a day of clean shooting almost impossible. Tsvetkov and Simon Desthieux were among the early starters cleaning the prone stage, with the ROC athlete taking the early lead 6.4 seconds faster than his French rival. However, JT shooting very aggressively cleaned to take a 20-second lead. Fillon Maillet missed a shot to fall 33 seconds back. Ponsiluoma got in the mix with five perfect shots to move into second position. A bit later, Doll got close with a clean stage, just 3.5 seconds slower than Ponsiluoma.

JT’s Penalty

Tsvetkov was the first man to close all five standing targets, giving him a perfect day. Number 16 JT came to standing with a 47 second lead and missed his second shot, but came out of the penalty loop with 30 seconds faster than Tsvetkov. Fillon Maillet came to standing 50 seconds behind JT, but cleaned with ease to close the gap tom 28.2 seconds with 3.3 km to go. Ponsiluoma missed two shots, falling to 45 seconds back, while Tarjei with just one standing penalty was in fourth, 37 seconds back. Jacquelin after a single prone penalty added a second in standing, but with his fast skiing was fifth, 44.5 seconds back, but faded in the last loop. Doll, like many of his peers missed a standing shot, dropping to seventh before the last loop. Samuelsson missed a shot in prone, coming to the standing stage in 20th position, but cleaned quickly and left in fifth position, just behind Tarjei.

Tarjei Charges to Bronze medal

JT was full gas on the last loop, trying to grab as many seconds as possible, as was Fillon Maillet. The 20 km Gold medalist despite pushing hard only gained 3 seconds on his Norwegian foe, crossing the line 25.5 seconds back. Tarjei after leaving standing behind Tsvetkov, moved a second ahead of him with 1100 meters to the finish and then charged down the last 100 meters like a man on a mission, eclipsing the ROC athlete by 1.7 seconds to secure the Bronze medal.

“Second Place is good in the Olympics”

Fillon Maillet was happy with his third medal, but not especially happy with his performance. “I do not know if Johannes was very strong today; for me I missed some energy but it is very hard to expect the victory unless I had a clean shooting…I am very happy to have my third medal in three races… (The shooting, one penalty) was not good but not really bad. Second place is good in the Olympics!”

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni

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