The Norwegian won the event for the third time, captured his seventh Olympic gold medal and has 12 medals overall. The only other Olympian with 12 medals is another Norwegian -- cross-country legend Bjorn Daehliem who won 12 medals during three Olympics in the 1990s.
Eight of those medals were gold, so he still leads Bjorndalen in total victories -- at least for now.
Bjorndalen, 40, covered the 10-kilometer event in 24:33.5, although he had to ski an extra 150 meters because of a missed shot at the second shooting station.
Each of the 87 competitors stopped twice along the course to shoot at 10 targets -- five while standing and five more from a prone position. Only 15 of the biathletes hit all 10 targets.
Those with perfect shooting performances included the silver and bronze medal winners.
Dominik Landertinger of Austria finished with the silver, a mere 1.3 seconds behind Bjorndalen. Jaroslav Soukup of the Czech Republic was third, 5.7 seconds behind the winner.
Bjorndalen won the sprint in both 1998 and 2002. He won the 20-kilometer race and the 12.5-kilometer pursuit in 2002 and has two relay gold medals as well. He has accumulated four silvers and a bronze while competing in five Olympics.
He has insisted that these will be the final Games of his career.
Jakov Fak of Slovenia, who won the bronze medal in the sprint at Vancouver four years ago, finished 10th Saturday without missing a target.
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