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The Journal Gazette

Monday, February 12, 2018 1:00 am

Biathlon outcome stunning to most

Top 2 in world off target in event

STEVE REED | Associated Press

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – The two-man race between Martin Fourcade and Johannes Thingnes Boe for Olympic gold never materialized.

They've pretty much become the Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte of the biathlon – only they have skis and rifles instead of Speedos and swim caps.

So when neither landed on the medal podium Sunday at the Pyeongchang Games, it sent shockwaves through the biathlon world.

Fourcade, a Frenchman ranked No. 1 in the world, missed three of five shots from the prone position, forcing him to do three penalty laps. He finished eighth overall.

Thingnes Boe, the world's No. 2, was even farther behind. The Norwegian missed three from the prone position and one from the standing position with his .22 caliber rifle and wound up a distant 31st, more than a minute behind the leader.

No one was more stunned than Germany's Arnd Peiffer, who took home the gold medal after hitting all 10 of his targets.

“I don't know how this could happen,” Peiffer said. “The other two guys, Martin and Johannes, they were dominating the whole season. They were dominating with their ski time; they were dominating on the range as well. So I didn't expect it was possible to be in front of them. I'm quite surprised.”

Thingnes Boe just shrugged his shoulders.

“This is the biathlon and this is the Olympics,” he said. “It's hard.

“We're both not happy,” he added. “I think the other athletes should be happy that we failed today.”