France's Martin Fourcade, the winner of two individual biathlon races at the 2014 Olympics, settled for the silver in this event. The bronze went to Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic.
Svendsen began slowing and celebrating just before he reached the finish line and it almost cost him the gold. Fourcade lunged a ski forward in an attempt to pull off a victory and the skiers actually turned in the same time.
A photo, however, revealed Svendsen's ski tip, the decisive factor in determining the winner, had barely reached the line first.
Norway's Ole Einar Bjorndalen, hoping to set a career record for most medals won a Winter Olympics, was in fourth place heading into the final round of shooting. He missed four out of five targets, however, and finished 22nd.