Biathlon: What to know for men’s individual event


As it turns out, Thursday will be busy for Olympic biathlon.

After winds forced postponement of the women’s individual event, both the men’s and women’s individual biathlon will take place Thursday at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre.

The men’s event will begin 20 minutes after its original starting time.

Here are a few things to know about the women’s 15km individual.

What it is

If you’re new to biathlon, here is a quick synopsis of the individual: Each athlete races and shoots against the click individual and the fastest time at the end wins gold. It’s a pretty straightforward event.

How to watch

The men’s 20km individual begins at 3:15 a.m. EST and you can watch it live right here.

Fourcade watch

Martin Fourcade on Monday became the first Olympic biathlete to successfully defend their gold medal in the pursuit since that event’s introduction to the Winter Olympics in 2002.

Now he will look to defend his title in the individual event. Fourcade won gold at the 2014 Sochi Games, finishing the individual in under 50 minutes and about 12 seconds faster than the silver medalist, Erik Lesser of Germany.

Fourcade on Thursday will look to become the second athlete to win two Olympic gold medals in the men’s 20km individual event.

The Frenchman could join Norwegian biathlete Magnar Solberg as the only athletes to win two medals in the individual event if he makes the podium Thursday.

A gold medal would move Fourcade into a tie with French fencers Christian d’Oriola and Lucien Gaudin for the most Olympic golds in French history.

Team USA

Biathlon remains the lone Winter Olympic sport the U.S. has yet to medal in, but 36-year-old Lowell Bailey will look to change that Thursday.

And if Bailey does become the first American biathlete to capture an Olympic medal, he’ll do so by becoming the oldest Olympic biathlete to claim their first Olympic medal.

Swedish biathlete Magdalena Forsberg holds the current record of 34 years and 201 days old, when she earned the bronze medal of the women’s 15km individual event at the 2002 Salt Lake Games.

Bailey will be 36 years and 215 days old on Thursday.

If Bailey finds himself with the gold medal, which is highly unexpected considering Fourcade is in the event, he would become the first non-European to win a men’s biathlon contest.

This and that

Fourcade is not the only biathlete with a chance to join Solberg as the only athletes to win two medals in the event. Norwegian Emil Hegle Svendsen won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Johannes Thingnes Boe, of Norway, still is seeking his first Olympic medal after seven Olympic events.

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