The Associated Press KRASNAYA POLYANA (AP)— Russia made its fans wait for a biathlon gold medal until the last race of the Sochi Games.
Despite missing eight targets, the Russian team won the men’s 4x7.5-kilometer relay on Saturday, sending the home nation top of the medal table.
“The whole team has been waiting for this gold medal,” said Dmitry Malyshko, who skied the third leg for Russia. “We’re really happy we could make this dream come true.”
With Russia’s men and women having won just one bronze and two silver medals in the previous 10 biathlon events, the country had failed to live up to expectations in one of its signature winter sports.
Alexey Volkov, Yevgeny Ustyugov and Malyshko kept Russia in third position for most of the race before anchor Anton Shipulin beat Germany’s Simon Schempp on the final lap.
A sea of Russian flags and loud chants awaited the Russians every time they entered the 7,500-capacity Laura biathlon stadium. “It’s a very special feeling,” said Ustyugov, who won a mass start gold in Vancouver four years ago.