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Page last updated at 23:12 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen wins 20km individual gold

Emil Hegle Svendsen

Double gold for Norway in biathlon

Norway legend Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won his 10th Olympic biathlon medal but was pipped to the 20km individual title by team-mate Emil Hegle Svendsen.

Bjoerndalen missed two shooting targets out of 20, while Svendsen missed just one to win in 48 minutes, 22.5 seconds.

Sergey Novikov of Belarus put in a tremendous final sprint to equal Bjoerndalen's 48:32 and share silver.

Britain's sole competitor, Lee Jackson, missed four targets as he finished 66th out of 88 starters, in 55:37.5.

The Stockton-on-Tees soldier, who ended on a high note, hitting five from five, said: "It was tough, but my ski speed was good again.

"It was painful but fun. I have really enjoyed the last week and I can walk away happy."

Bjoerndalen, 36, looked on course to win a sixth gold medal as he began the final standing shoot in the lead, but he missed the first target, costing him a one-minute penalty and ultimately the title.

Svendsen shot clearly through the first three rounds but he also missed a target in the final shoot to give Novikov the lead.

But, despite hitting all 20 of his targets, the 30-year-old Belarussian, who is 32nd in the World Cup rankings, was unable to capitalise, although he came within a whisker of pushing Bjoerndalen into bronze.

Svendsen paid tribute to Bjoerndalen after picking up his gold medal.

He said: "I wouldn't be sitting here as the gold medallist without him because when he was in Nagano in 1998 taking gold, I was sitting at home and watching him as a little boy and ever since then I tried to copy him and train like him.

"I couldn't have done it today without him and I want to say thank you to him."

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see also
Unheralded Jay wins biathlon gold
14 Feb 10 |  Biathlon
Kuzmina wins biathlon sprint gold
13 Feb 10 |  Biathlon
Winter Olympics weather
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010

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