Fourcade was the champion elect in both heading to Russia and the Olympic host city however it looked like he wouldn't be claiming them from the top step of the podium. For a missed target in his very first shoot in the 20km individual put him on the back foot in 40th and almost a minute behind then leader and French team-mate Jean-Guillaume Beatrix. Fourcade was up to eighth, 40 seconds behind new leader Andreas Birnbacher, after shooting clear second time in the range while a perfect third put him 30 seconds behind the German. The 24-year-old was measured in his last shoot, going clear to reduce the deficit to 16 seconds before overthrowing Birnbacher to win by 6.9 seconds in 49:40.6minutes. With Emil Hegle Svendsen still struggling with illness and not competing, Fourcade can now no longer be caught in the overall World Cup standings with 1072 points in total. Fourcade won the overall World Cup title for the first time last season while it was also his third victory from three in the individual this season officially giving him Crystal Globe. Birnbacher, who was to shoot 20 out of 20, came to the fore after the second shoot only being edged out by Fourcade's comeback to finish second 6.9seconds behind the Frenchman. Serhiy Semenov was also perfect trailing Birnbacher until just after the third shoot before he was overtaken by Fourcade, the Ukrainian holding onto third 31.9 seconds behind overall.
- Sports & Recreation
- Andreas Birnbacher