The Pursuit (12.5 km for men; 10 km for women) first appeared in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The top 60 competitors from the previous competition qualify for the pursuit, going out in the seconds-back order based on their sprint finish, i.e. sprint winner starts at 0:00, second place in sprint starts at for example five seconds back and so on until all sixty have started.
Usually, all sixty start within just over two minutes. Competitors ski five loops (5 x 2.5 km for men; 5 x 2 km for women) with four shooting stages, prone, prone, standing and standing in that order. Athletes ski a 150-meter penalty loop for each missed target before starting on the next loop. This competition is always full of big moves and sudden drama, especially in the last standing stage, when many times victory is on the line. The first to cross the finish line is the winner.