Russian biathlete seals first-ever men’s pursuit medal

Eduard Latypov earned bronze in the men’s 12.5km biathlon pursuit at the Beijing Games

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team added to its Beijing medal tally on Sunday after men’s star Eduard Latypov claimed bronze in the 12.5km biathlon pursuit – the first ever medal earned by a Russian in the event.

Latypov, 27, came home third at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Center, behind French gold medal winner Quentin Fillon Maillet and Norway’s Tarjei Boe.

The bronze for Latypov is his second of the Beijing Games after he picked up the same prize as part of the biathlon mixed relay team.

It was also a historic medal as no other Russian man has finished on the podium since the 12.5km pursuit was introduced at the 2002 Winter Games, although Russians have had success in the women’s 10km version of the event. 

Latypov completed the podium alongside Tarjei Boe of Norway and French winner Quentin Fillon Maillet. © AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

The faultless Fillon Maillet finished Sunday’s race without recording a single shooting penalty, clocking a time of 39 minutes 7.5 seconds.

Norwegian Boe was almost half a minute back and recorded one penalty, as did Latypov, who was just under seven seconds behind the Norwegian and 35.3 seconds behind the French race winner.

Latypov is now set to compete for more Beijing success as he lines up in the 15km mass start on Friday, February 18.

There was Russian success on the slopes at the Beijing Games earlier on Sunday, when the men’s 4 x 10km cross-country relay team won a brilliant race to hand the ROC team its fourth gold medal of the Games overall.  

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