Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway has won his first gold medal in the men's mass start at the Olympic Games in Sochi. He finished with just 49 min. 29.1 sec. on the clock the same as French skier Martin Fourcade who came in second, with the winner determined by a photo finish. Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic secured third place, finishing 13.8 seconds behind the leaders.
At the start of the final individual biathlon of the Olympic Games in Sochi, 30 athletes went out on the track. In the lead on the first lap were the representatives of Norway - Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Johannes Bø and Emil Hegle Svendsen. Many of the athletes earned penalty loops at the first firing position thanks in part to the snowy conditions, with both Martin Fourcade and Ole Einar Bjørndalen missing shots. The Russian Garanichev, the Norwegian Svendsen and the Czech Ondrej Moravec did hit every target and were amongst the first to set off on the next round.
At the end of the second lap, shortly before exiting into the stadium, the Frenchman Simon Fourcade was injured and needed to withdraw from the competition. On the second shooting bout, Garanichev had dropped out of first place, and after missing made his way to the penalty circle. Svendsen again performed flawlessly, shooting with perfect precision and found himself at the top of the leaders’ group in the third lap. Following him by a few seconds were Jean-Philippe Leguellec of Canada and Jean-Guillaume Béatrix of France. Germany’s Erik Lesser and the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Moravec also shot without missing, but they were slower than the leaders.
At around 13.8 km the Norwegian Svendsen started his sprint for the finish with Martin Fourcade close behind him. An intense struggle unfolded over the final few meters, and Svendsen was crowned the winner after a photo finish.