Johannes Thingnes Boe was too good for the rest of the field in the final biathlon event in Beijing, winning the 15km mass start for his fourth gold medal as Quentin Fillon Maillet missed out on making Winter Olympics history with an uncharacteristic poor shooting display.
Thingnes Boe's victory gave him a fifth medal overall at the Games and brought up a Winter Olympic record 15th for Norway, with Sweden's Martin Ponsiluoma claiming the first Olympic podium of his career by claiming silver as Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen took bronze.
Fillon Mallet finished fourth as he looked to become the first athlete to win six medals at a single Winter Olympic Games, having already collected two golds and three silvers.
Watch Thingnes Boe take fourth gold medal with biathlon brilliance
Fillon Maillet burst out from the start in an attempt to control the race, but Thingnes Boe was not having it, sticking with the Frenchman and taking the lead around the 1.5km mark. It was neck-and-neck going into the first prone shoot and both leading men missed one shot, meaning they had to take an early penalty lap.
Ten athletes went clear at the shoot and it made Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson the new leader ahead of Canadian brothers Christian and Scott Bow, but there was still plenty of time for things to change.
Less than a kilometre after exiting the shoot, Fillon Maillet and Thingnes Boe had already clawed back time, as Scott Gow went to the front. By the time the athletes came into the second prone shoot, Thingnes Boe had gone back to the front ahead of Fillon Mallet - but wind was all over the place with its direction.
Thingnes Boe cleared the range but Fillot Mallet missed one, so he again had to claw some serious time back. The Norwegian was now faced with the decision of whether to put the hammer down or retain his stamina for the standing shoots - which the Frenchman has been excelling in.
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Fillon Mallet was only losing time on the next lap, though, and coming into the first standing shoot he was almost 36 seconds down. But coming out of it, he had moved to within 15.9 seconds of his Norwegian rival, who exited six seconds ahead of Sweden’s Martin Ponsiluoma.
It was now the crucial moment of the race, with one shoot still to go. But with less than 1km gone, Fillon Mallet had dropped to 24.9 seconds behind Thingnes Boe, who had upped his pace. The pressure was on the Norwegian to clear the final shoot cleanly, as he had a 27 second lead.
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Thingnes Boe settled his breath and started well with three successes, but missed the last two. That meant a clean shoot for Fillon-Mallet would put him in a gold-medal position, but the normally steady Frenchman missed his first three targets. Ponsiluoma also missed one shot, which meant Thingnes Boe was off the hook and would be untroubled for gold.
Fillon-Mallet, meanwhile, was out of the medal positions altogether, exiting after the penalty laps 30 seconds off the podium places behind Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen. He clawed back 10 seconds over the next kilometre but didn't manage to catch up.
Thingnes Boe was cruising to the line and he started his celebrations as he came into the stadium, blowing a kiss to the camera on the home straight and slowing down to a snail’s pace to lap up his victory.
Ponsiluoma, a sprint world champion from last year, came in for second to claim his first Olympic medal, followed by Christiansen, who looked over his shoulder to check he was not under pressure from Fillon Mallet, who missed out on making history.
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