Fourcade first to win 3 gold medals at Pyeongchang Olympics

  • The French team celebrates their gold medal in the 2x6-kilometer women's + 2x7.5-kilometer men's mixed relay biathlon at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. They are (L-R) Anais Bescond, Marie Dorin Hapert, Martin Fourcade, and Simon Desthieux. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) Gregorio Borgia

  • Martin Fourcade, of France, skis across the finish line with the French flag winning the gold medal for Team France in the 2x6-kilometer women's + 2x7.5-kilometer men's mixed relay biathlon at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) Andrew Medichini

  • Martin Fourcade, of France, skis across the finish line with the French flag wining the gold medal for the French team in the 2x6-kilometer women's + 2x7.5-kilometer men's mixed relay biathlon at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) Gregorio Borgia

  • Martin Fourcade, of France, skis during the 2x6-kilometer women's + 2x7.5-kilometer men's mixed relay biathlon at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) Andrew Medichini

Published: 2/21/2018 12:35:00 AM

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Nobody in French history has won more Olympic gold medals than Martin Fourcade. Nobody has won more gold medals so far at the Pyeongchang Winter Games than the French biathlete.

Yet Fourcade refused to make the night about himself despite anchoring France to a come-from-behind victory Tuesday in the biathlon mixed relay. It was his third gold medal in Pyeongchang, and the fifth in his decorated career.

“Tonight it is a big win for the team and all of the crew,” Fourcade said. “There is nothing that means more than when you can share (the gold) with your teammates. That is something that is incredible.”

The 29-year-old Fourcade’s fifth Olympic title moved him past fencers Christian D’Oriola and Lucien Gaudin for the most in French history in either the Summer or Winter Games.

“He’s just incredible,” teammate Simon Desthieux said.

Fourcade was coming off a narrow photo-finish decision over Germany’s Simon Schempp in the mass start on Sunday.

While this race wasn’t as dramatic, it was no less impressive.

Fourcade was at his best, erasing a nearly 38-second deficit on the last leg of the relay by hitting all 10 shots with his .22 caliber rifle to help the French team of Marie Dorin Habert, Anais Bescond and Desthieux catch the Germans.

Arnd Peiffer, a late replacement for Schempp as the German anchor, inherited the huge lead but struggled to hit his targets on the final two shoots. Germany, which had three gold medals in the biathlon coming into the event — including one by Peiffer — finished off the podium in fourth place.

Fourcade had enough of a lead at the end to wave the French flag as he crossed the finish line for his team in 1 hour, 8 minutes and 34.3 seconds, more than 20 seconds ahead of second-place Norway. Italy took the bronze.




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