Russia has retained its biathlon gold medal at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, with France coming in second and Germany winning bronze.
AFP - Russia won the women's relay biathlon gold medal on Tuesday ahead of second-placed France while Germany - minus star performer Magdalena Neuner - finished with bronze.
The Russian team's winning time was 1hr 9min 36.3sec as France's Sandrine Bailly produced a brilliant effort on the final leg to beat Germany to the silver as the French finished at one hour 10min 09.1sec.
The Germans were minus starlet Neuner, who leaves Vancouver with two golds and a silver, and finished at 1hr 10min 13.4sec having been in gold-medal contention throughout.
Having won Sunday's mass start, Neuner announced she would not be bidding for a third gold and fourth Olympic medal in the relay due to mental fatigue and the desire to see one of her team-mates win a medal.
But with the French quartet all skiing well, Germany missed Neuner's cross-country skills as one of the fastest skiers in biathlon in the eventual battle for silver.
The decisive third leg saw Russia's Olga Medvedtseva produce a devastating display of cross-country skiing to leave her team with a 44.8sec lead over the Germans.
When team-mate Olga Zaitseva, who won silver in Sunday's mass start, shot well on the standing section at the shooting range on the final leg, the Russians had the gold in the bag.
Although France's Marie Dorin missed two shots on the third leg which earned her two penalty laps, her skiing kept France in touch and Bailly powered past Germany's Andrea Henkel on the final leg to give her country the silver.
Date created : 2010-02-23