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Germany's Arnd Peiffer finishes the men's 10km sprint biathlon event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 11, 2018, in Pyeongchang. / AFP PHOTO / Christof STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

CHRISTOF STACHE/Getty Images

Germany’s Arnd Peiffer raced to biathlon glory in the 10-kilometre sprint on Sunday, as he produced a flawless display at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Peiffer didn’t incur a single penalty at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre, allowing him to lay down an impressive marker of 23 minutes, 38.8 seconds in his run. It was enough to get the better of Michal Krcmar of the Czech Republic and Italy’s Dominik Windisch, who took silver and bronze, respectively.

It was a disappointing day for both of the pre-race favourites, as Martin Fourcade and Johannes Thinges Boe were both let down by poor shooting performances.

Here are the top three from this intriguing event, the updated medals tracker and a recap of what was a memorable performance from Peiffer.

        

1. Arnd Peiffer (GER)—23:38.8

2. Michal Krcmar (CZE)—23:43.2

3. Dominik Windisch (ITA)—23:46.5

For the result in full, visit the Pyeongchang website.

       

Penalty-Free Peiffer Triumphs

Germany's Arnd Peiffer competes at the shooting range in the men's 10km sprint biathlon event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 11, 2018, in Pyeongchang. / AFP PHOTO / Christof STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF ST

CHRISTOF STACHE/Getty Images

Ahead of the event, many expected this one to be a straight fight between Boe and Fourcade, and it was the former who started first.

It was evident from the first few hundred metres that the Norwegian was quick, as he was seven seconds clear of Timofei Lapshin’s benchmark for the first split.

However, in the first round of shooting, the chances of Boe and his compatriot Emil Hegle Svendsen took a big hit. As we can see here, courtesy of the IBU World Cup account, they were both well short of their usual high standards with the rifle:

As noted by USA Today‘s Dan Wolken, to see Boe so erratic with the rifle was a big surprise:

As Boe took on the second round of shooting, in which he improved to take out four from the five targets—it meant a 600-metre penalty for the Norwegian—Fourcade was just getting his attempt underway. 

The Frenchman would have been well aware that a solid performance here would be enough for gold with his rivals struggling. But even he felt the pressure, with three misses at the first round of shooting, too.

Meanwhile, up ahead Peiffer laid down a tremendous mark, as he was perfect with the rifle and moved into provisional first place. Based on what was going on behind him, it was going to take something extraordinary to prevent him from winning.

Poor shooting cost Fourcade the chance of victory.

Poor shooting cost Fourcade the chance of victory.FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT/Getty Images

Fourcade responded well to his earlier setback, though, and in the standing shoot, he nailed five out of five. While he had time to make up, he remained in contention. FasterSkier suggested the Frenchman could even still win the gold:

It meant Peiffer, Krcmar and Windisch, in the top three positions, respectively, would have all been sweating on the Frenchman’s progress further back. However, the favourite had left himself too much to do, and in the end, he limped home in eighth position.

Nick Zaccardi of NBC Sports reflected on how much of a surprise it was to see Boe and Fourcade out of the medals:

It meant that, while there were a number of competitors still to finish their runs, Peiffer was effectively the Olympic champion.

The win for Peiffer also gives his chances in the pursuit event a boost, as he will begin ahead of the rest of his rivals. Fourcade, who is 22.1 seconds behind the German, will be hopeful of making amends in that event on Monday.

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