Women's biathlon

Russian women win 4x6-kilometer biathlon

Olga Zaitseva of Russia waves to the crowd as she skis the last stretch of the 4x6km relay.
Olga Zaitseva of Russia waves to the crowd as she skis the last stretch of the 4x6km relay. (Shaun Botterill/getty Images)
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Russia won the women's biathlon relay at the Vancouver Olympics on Tuesday after Olga Zaitseva easily protected her team's massive lead on the final leg to secure the gold medal.

Olga Medvedtseva practically secured the win for the Russians on the third leg after pulling away with her quick shooting to give Zaitseva a 45-second head start on German rival Andrea Henkel at the last exchange.

Zaitseva had no problem skiing home the win despite shaky shooting on the last position, and had plenty of time to slow up and greet the crowd as she entered the ski stadium.

The Russian team, which also included Svetlana Sleptsova and Anna Bogaliy-Titovets, finished the 4x6-kilometer race in 1 hour 9 minutes 36.3 seconds. The French quartet took the silver after finishing 32.8 seconds behind, while the German quartet had to settle for bronze, 37.1 seconds back.

In the relay format, the skiers can shoot eight times at the five targets at each position. However, only five bullets can be loaded at a time, meaning they have to spend time reloading if they miss. After using all eight rounds, they have to ski a 150-meter penalty loop for each remaining target.

-- From news services


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