ROC shooting skiers surrendered a 50-second advantage to finish third in the 4 x 7.5km men’s relay
The Russian biathlon team suffered agony in Beijing after the unfortunate Eduard Latypov squandered their gold medal chances by missing five targets at the final shoot.
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) quartet of Karim Khalili, Alexander Loginov, Maxim Tsvetkov and Latypov added another bronze to the country’s medal tally, but their podium finish was marred by bitter disappointment as they had seemed set for the Olympic title.
Leading after three legs and seven shooting sessions, Latypov entered the shooting-range with a comfortable 50-second lead. But disaster struck as he proceeded to miss five targets.
Even the three extra bullets given in relay races at every shoot didn’t help, as the Russian was forced to ski two penalty laps, handing the gold medal to Norway while France finished second.
A distraught Latypov, 27, collapsed to the ground at the finish line, where he was consoled by teammates.
The bronze is the ROC’s third Beijing biathlon medal, all of which have featured Latypov. He helped the mixed relay team to third and then won a historic individual bronze in the men’s pursuit.
The biathlon competition in Beijing will finish on Saturday when the men take part in the mass start.
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