Roeiseland Doubles Up with Beijing Pursuit Gold

Norway’s Marte Olsbu Roeiseland, with just a single penalty, unchallenged from start to finish added her second individual Gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Winter Games by winning the women’s 10 km pursuit this evening in 34:46.9. This evening’s snowy win gave the Norwegian her fourth medal of these Games, having previously won the Sprint Gold medal on Friday, a Gold medal in last week’s mixed relay and Bronze in the women’s 15 km individual. Sweden’s Elvira Oeberg, with three penalties came back from sixth position before the last standing stage, shooting clean to take her second consecutive Silver medal, 1:36.5 back. Olsbu Roeiseland’s teammate Tiril Eckhoff, also with three penalties captured the Bronze medal, 1:48.7 back. Eckhoff’s Bronze medal gave the Norwegian an individual medal in three consecutive Olympic Winter Games. She won her second Olympic Mixed Relay Gold medal last week and now has a seven Olympic medals in her career.

Header iconBeijing 2022 Women's Pursuit

“Never looking back, just looking forward”

The Olympic Sprint/Pursuit Gold medalist was “so happy” at the finish as she commented on the conditions and how she approached the hard conditions. “I just stayed so focused on what I could do. I am so happy that I managed that and can be my best person in the shooting range. I am really happy…It was tough but it was tougher in the tracks today because the snow was really slow, but I had really good skis and just kept pushing, pushing. Never looking back, just looking forward and just trying to do my best every meter.”

Belarusian Hanna Sola, with three penalties finished in an OWG personal best fourth place, 1:58.9 back. Sweden’s Linn Persson also had an OWG personal best in fifth place with two penalties, 2:07.2 back, while Dorothea Wierer of Italy, with three penalties finished sixth, 2:09.1 back.

Snowy, windy pursuit day

Pursuit day arrived with moderate snow and a stiff wind blowing across the shooting range and a bone-chilling -12 temperature. The soft fresh snow on the tracks, wind and cold made it even tougher going than in any of the previous competitions. Olsbu Roeiseland went out steadily, holding Elvira at the same 30-second gap as she started with as they came to the first prone stage. The leader cleaned comfortably as did Elvira and Wierer However, Wierer shooting fast as usual closed the gap on her Swedish rival to less than 5 seconds. Hauser also cleaned, leaving next, but 55 seconds back.

Wierer Moves Up

The gaps remained the same as the leading trio headed into the second prone stage with the Norwegian 33 seconds ahead of Elvira and Wierer another 5 seconds back. The second five prone shots for Olsbu Roeiseland were perfectly centered, keeping her safely in first. Wierer cleaned, getting away second, 38 seconds behind the leader, while Elvira missed a shot but still held on to third position at 1:04 back with the clean shooting Hauser and Tandrevold next at 1:13 and 1:19 back.

More comfortable lead for Olsbu Roeiseland

Wierer lost about 10 seconds on the tracks as the field approached the first standing stage, giving Olsbu Roeiseland a more comfortable lead. The wind seemed to pick up as the leader set up for standing. She pulled the first shot to the left, and went to the penalty loop. Wierer also shooting all alone missed her second and last shots. Elvira then missed twice, Hauser shot fast, also missing once. As they headed back onto the tracks Olsbu Roeiseland led by 1:25 over Wierer with Hauser 1:41 back and Tandrevold just 2 seconds farther back with Eckhoff and Elvira within striking distance.

“Everything was in slow motion”

Elvira had to fight hard to get her second Silver medal. “It feels so great. I am super happy that I managed to defend my position from the sprint. It was an extremely tough race today. You had to fight for every meter. It felt like everything was going in slow motion. I am super happy that I managed to turn my race around after the first standing. It was not my best moment and I was quite disappointed with my standing shooting. That makes it was even better that I managed to turn it around. That is why we love biathlon!”

Gold Guaranteed

Olsbu Roeiseland with over 1:35 in the bank had no reason to press in the last standing stage, just hit the targets. She did just that, guaranteeing another Gold medal, her fourth medal of these Games. Wierer missed her second shot and went to the loop. Hauser missed once as Tandrevold, but Elvira bounced back with five perfect shots, leaving second 1:58 back with Tandrevold third at 2:01 and Wierer at 2:09.

Eckhoff moves up to Bronze

Olsbu Roeiseland left the range with a big smile and a hand in the air in celebration. The last loop was simply a victory lap. The lady with her second individual Gold medal waved at the few fans and punched the sky as she finished. Elvira pulled away in the last kilometer to secure her second Silver medal, with Eckhoff taking Bronze giving Norway its second 1-3 finish in two days.

Eckhoff: “Never give up”

Eckhoff realized she had a chance for a medal after the last standing stage, especially under the hard conditions. “I thought there was not any chance to take a medal but I saw who was in front of me and I knew that everything is possible here, especially in these loops and it is snowing, not the best conditions and altitude as well. Altitude fits me well so I was thinking, ‘never give up’.”

Tandrevold okay after struggling to reach finish

Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold who seemed secure in third place went over her physical limit into the depths of the “red zone” midway through the last loop, completely falling apart. She did not collapse but slowed to a crawl and had to be helped at the finish. Tandrevold never lost consciousness, and was eating to regain some energy after dressing. “(Ingrid) tried to follow Elvira and she hardly came to the finish. She was exhausted, so disappointed but not unconscious. She has stressed herself, she is eating and drinking now. I guess it's the cold and the altitude. We will have to see if she should compete again but if she does, she has to train normally!” explained Norwegian Team Doctor Lars Kolsrud.

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni

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