Russia wins men's Olympic biathlon relay

Feb. 22, 2014 at 11:08 AM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Anton Shipulin powered from behind on the final leg Saturday to bring Russia a surprising Olympic victory in the men's biathlon relay.

It was the 11th gold medal of the Games for the host nation, tying the Russians with Norway for the most earned at the Sochi Olympics going into Sunday's final three events.

Shipulin left the final round of shooting less than a second behind Germany's Simon Schempp. There were only 1.6 kilometers left to go in the 30-kilometer race and during that closing stretch Shipulin pulled away to defeat the German by 3.5 seconds.

Austria finished third, 14 seconds ahead of fourth-place Norway.

With the Norwegians being denied a medal, Ole Einar Bjorndalen finished his Olympic career with 13 medals to his credit. That is the most ever won in the Winter Olympics by one athlete, although he let chances for more get away at these Games.

The biathlon triumph left Russia with 29 medals at the first Winter Olympics hosted by the country. That is the most for the Russians at a single Winter Games, breaking the mark of 23 they set at Lillehammer in 1994.

Shipulin was joined on the winning squad by Alexey Volkov, Evgeny Ustyugov and Dmitry Malyshko.

The relay victory came after Russia had won only one bronze medal during the four men's individual events previously held.

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