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Martin Fourcade takes gold in biathlon Mass Start, becoming France's greatest Winter Olympian

© Franck Fife, AFP | Martin Fourcade

Already the world's top-ranked biathalete, Martin Fourcade became France’s most successful Winter Olympian of all time on Sunday by taking a gold medal in the Men's 15km Mass Start.

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Fourcade, 29, was already in a select club of three-time Olympic gold medalists after winning the biathlon 12.5km pursuit on 12 February at PyeongChang 2018.

Fourcade finished eighth in the 10km sprint event after three shooting errors, making it the first time this season he had not been on the podium. But he stormed back from the setback in the 12.5km pursuit to add to the two gold medals he won at Sochi 2014. He is the first man ever to win the pursuit at two consecutive Olympic Games.

However, in the biathlon 20km Individual on Thursday he only finished 5th, a surprisingly diappointing result from the French sports star.

'Fourcade has really delivered'

Family had no doubt

Nonetheless, Fourcade’s brother Simon never doubted Martin would triumph. “He manages to control his emotions. When you’re close to him it’s frightening at times … That’s something he’s been doing since he was a kid because of his obsession with winning,” he told French sports newspaper L'Equipe.

Norwegian Biathlon great Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who has eight Olympic titles to his name, told L'Equipe before the race: “Martin is the hot favourite for every race anyway.”

Victory pushes Fourcade past other French Olympic greats - Jean-Claude Killy (Alpine skiing), Paul Masson (cycling), Félicia Ballanger (track cycling), Marie-José Pérec (athletics) and Tony Estanguet (canoeing).

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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