March 04, 2012 (Ruhpolding, GER) – Martin Fourcade of France scored his second gold medal with a come-from-behind performance in the men’s 12.5km Pursuit at the IBU Worlds as his fast skiing continued to bring success despite four shooting penalties.
Fourcade caught and passed Sweden’s Carl Johan Bergman on the final climb before the finish today to earn the victory by five seconds as Russia’s Anton Shipulin rounded out the podium in 3rd at 22 seconds behind Fourcade.
The USA’s Lowell Bailey lead the North American men with a respectable 20th but the American was in 7th coming into the final two standing session and faltered suffered two misses in contrast to shooting clean in both prone stages.
“Today’s race was pretty exciting from the start. I had a good prone shooting and was able to move up into the top ten for the middle of the race,” said Bailey in a team release. “By the time I got to last shooting, I was in the top ten and shooting for a top position.
Jean Philippe Leguellec of Canada was also gunning for a top-10 finish but also missed two targets in the final standing session on the range and ended up in 26th place.
American Tim Burke, who was 10th in the sprint race yesterday, suffered five penalties and ended up in 28th position. Canadian’s Nathan Smith and Scott Perras raced to 43rd and 54th position.
Fourcade and Bergman came into the final standing stage together but Fourcade faltered suffering two penalties while the Swede shot clean. But the Frenchman’s strong skiing saw him reel in Bergman in an exciting finish as Fourcade passed him with less than 1km to go.
“My shape is good, but I also know that Carl Johan is a good sprinter, so that is why I decided to attack earlier and not later,” added Fourcade.
Bergman recalled the final moments of the race with biathlonworld.com, “I felt good when I went out for the last loop. My goal was to have high speed for the whole final loop. But I had absolutely no chance when Fourcade attacked – he was skiing so fast. At that point I had to put all of my mental effort into trying to stay close to him.”
After a day off from competition tomorrow, the men get back into action on Monday with the 20 km Individual race.
Full results HERE.