Darya Domracheva wins gold in women's 12.5K biathlon
3rd gold medal for Belarussian in Sochi
Darya Domracheva won a third consecutive gold medal in women's biathlon, winning the 12.5km mass start race. Domracheva also won gold in the pursuit and individual races.
"It's amazing to be here because I dreamed about it, to be an Olympic champion, from my childhood. But to get three — dreams do come true," said Domracheva.
Domracheva was flawless on the first three trips to the range, building a massive lead. On her final trip to the range, she missed one target, and had to ski a lap of the penalty loop. Despite the setback, Domracheva was so far ahead of the rest of the field that she skied unchallenged to victory.
Domracheva has become the first Belarussian to win three Olympic gold medals.
"Russian family, Belarussian family. All these nations, Russians, Belarussians, we are like brothers and sisters. For me, I feel this country is really native for me," said the Olympic champion, on racing in Russia.
Gabriella Soukalova of the Czech Republic won the silver medal, finishing 20.2 seconds back from the winner. Tiril Eckhoff of Norway won the bronze, finishing 27.3 seconds back of the leader, and just one second ahead of fourth-place German, Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle.
Canadian Megan Imrie finished 28th, after a missed target in the first and third trips to the range. She missed three shots on the final shooting session, setting the Canadian back further.
Imrie was not meant to compete in the event, finding out less than two hours before the star that a spot had opened up for her to compete. Sochi 2014 is Imrie's final trip to the Olympics.
She was the only Canadian to compete in the race.
Norwegian Tara Berger came into the event as a favourite, but crashed partway through the first lap, and dropped well back, finishing 15th overall. Other skiers also crashed in the hairpin corner that claimed Berger, including Russian Olga Zaitseva.
Colder conditions made the downhill into the corner much faster, and some athletes failed to scrub off enough speed to safely round the bend.