Eagle eye Ferry strikes Olympic gold
AFP/The Local · 16 Feb 2010, 22:43
Published: 16 Feb 2010 22:43 GMT+01:00
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Ferry bagged Sweden's first men's biathlon gold in 50 years on Tuesday when he muscled past Austrian Christoph Sumann taking silver and France's Vincent Jay to win the pursuit title.
Starting with bib eight, the 31-year-old Ferry claimed his first Olympic medal after hitting the front on the last lap following his fourth shooting session to overhaul pace-setter Jay.
He crossed the line in 33min 38.4sec, with a winning margin of 16.5sec.
"Everything came together today," said Ferry's German coach Wolfgang Pichler.
Jay's medal followed his gold success on Saturday in the 10km sprint, which meant he started Tuesday's race first.
He ended 28.2sec adrift of Ferry, who dethroned French 2006 champion Vincent Defrasne in style, the latter coming in 22nd more than two minutes off the pace.
Ferry's previous main successes comprised a world title in the mixed relay and two World Cup pursuit races.
This win will allow him to steal back a share of the limelight enjoyed by wife Heidi Andersson, who is a multiple armwrestling world title winner.
Sweden's only other men's biathlon gold came 50 years ago, when Klas Lestander won the 20km.
Sumann said silver was a huge result for him.
"I felt really at ease. and I must say the equipment was just perfect, it was absolutely great. What else can I say? silver, wow, amazing."
While Sweden enjoyed the sweet smell of success fans of neighbouring Norway were glum after top names Emil Hegle Svendsen and five-time Olympic champion Ole Einar Bjoerndalen failed to shine.
Svendsen, triple world champion two years ago and a silver medalist in the sprint, lost his way after a bright start as he had to turn in three penalty loops for missing shooting targets.
Bjoerndalen also had another off day and could only manage seventh, 50sec behind Ferry.
"I had a good skiing performance but missed two (targets) in the last shooting when I felt very tired," said the sport's most decorated athlete with 14 world titles and 91 World Cup race wins.