Fourcade edges Schempp in photo finish for gold in 15km mass start

Martin Fourcade, Simon Schempp

Martin Fourcade overcame two missed targets and a tumble after his first penalty loop to beat German’s Simon Schempp in a dramatic photo finish to win the men’s 15km mass start Sunday at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The Frenchman captured his first gold medal in the mass start after grabbing silver in each of the past two Winter Olympics.

Both Fourcade and Schempp finished the race in 35 minutes, 47.3 seconds but Fourcade got the nod in the photo. Schempp missed one of his targets in his final shooting about, which cost him the gold.

Fourcade hit 18 of his 20 targets but skied fast enough to overcome his self-inflicted mistakes.

The gold is Fourcade’s second in four events at these Games. He finished eighth in the men’s sprint and then dominated the pursuit for the gold. He finished fifth in the men’s individual and now won gold in the mass start.

Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen took home the bronze medal, finishing 11.2 seconds behind Fourcade and Schempp.

Norwegian biathlete Johannes Thingness Boe, who won gold in the individual and was one of the favorites entering the mass start, counted himself out with three missed target in his second shooting bout.

Boe finished in 16th. He was 17 of 20 in his shooting bouts and finished the event in 37 minutes, 7.3 seconds.

No Americans qualified for the mass start.

Biathlon has Monday off before returning to action Tuesday (6:15 a.m.) with the mixed relay.

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