Home > Winter > Grading My Medal Predictions: Biathlon

Grading My Medal Predictions: Biathlon

So they shoot AND ski?

Starting again with the men:

10k Sprint

Predicted:

Gold – Ole Einar Bjoerndlen, Norway

Silver – Simon Fourcade, France

Bronze – Dominik Landertinger, Austria

Actual:

Gold – Vincent Jay, France

Silver – Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway

Bronze – Jakov Fak, Croatia

I’ll start right off the bat and say that I wouldn’t expect too much from my biathlon predictions. Biathlon is probably the most volatile sport in the winter games because one missed shot can end your medal hopes. In fact, in the first two events the most shots a Gold medalist has missed is 2. Einar Bjoerndalen, the King of Biathlon, finished 17th, Fourcade finished 35th and Ladertinger 34th. Of note: American Jeremy Teela finished 9th. Nice job by him.

12.5k Pursuit

Predicted:

Gold – Simon Eder, Austria

Silver – Arnd Pieffer, Germany

Bronze – Simon Fourcade, France

Actual:

Gold – Bjorn Ferry, Sweden

Silver – Christoph Sumann, Austria

Bronze – Vincent Jay, France

Because the starting positions for the pursuit are based on the finishing spots in the sprint, it’s much easier to medal in both. Hence Jay’s bronze. Ferry was 8th at the start and as low as 6th three-fourths of the way into the race, but great shooting rocketed him to gold. Eder finished 4th, but Pieffer and Fourcade each finished outside the top 15.

15k Mass Start

Predicted:

Gold – Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway

Silver – Evgeny Ustyuov, Russia

Bronze – Ole Einar Bjoerndlen, Norway

Actual:

Gold – Evgeni Ustyugov, Russia

Silver – Martin Fourcade, France

Bronze – Pavol Hurajt, Slovakia

20k Individual

Predicted:

Gold – Sergei Sednev, Ukraine

Silver – Daniel Mesotitsch, Austria

Bronze – Tim Burke, United States

Actual:

Gold – Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway

Silver – Ole Einar Bjorndalen, Norway

Bronze – Sergey Novikov, Belarus

Neither Svendsen nor Novikov was in the top 15 to start the race. Ustyugov finished 4th, but neither of my other predicted medal winners finished in the top 15.

4 x 7.5k Relay

Predicted:

Gold – Norway

Silver – Russia

Bronze – Austria

Actual:

Gold – Norway

Silver – Austria

Bronze – Russia

woo hoo!Women’s turn

7.5k Sprint

Predicted:

Gold – Kati Wilhelm, Germany

Silver – Helena Jonsson, Sweden

Bronze – Simone Hauswald, Germany

Actual:

Gold – Anastazia Kuzmina, Slovakia

Silver – Magdalena Neuner, Germany

Bronze – Marie Dorin, France

10k Pursuit

Predicted:

Gold – Andrea Henkel, Germany

Silver – Magdalena Neuner, Germany

Bronze – Helena Jonsson, Sweden

Actual:

Gold – Magdalena Neuner, Germany

Silver – Anastazia Kuzmina, Slovakia

Bronze – Marie Laure Brunet, France

Neuner, just 23 years old, went silver-gold in her first two Olympic events. Henkel finished 10th, and Jonsson 14th. The highest American was Sara Studebaker in 46th.

12.5k Mass Start

Predicted:

Gold – Andrea Henkel, Germany

Silver – Simone Hauswald, Germany

Bronze – Helena Jonsson, Sweden

Actual:

Gold – Magdalena Neuner, Germany

Silver – Olga Saitseva, Russia

Bronze – Simone Hauswald, Germany

Henkel started 9th, then fell way out of the top 15, and ended up finishing 9th. Jonsson finished 10th.

15k Individual

Predicted:

Gold – Andrea Henkel, Germany

Silver – Anna Carin Olofsson-Zidek, Sweden

Bronze – Helena Jonsson, Sweden

Actual:

Gold – Tora Berger, Norway

Silver – Elena Khrustaleva, Kazakhstan

Bronze – Darya Domracheva, Belarus

Henkel finished 6th, Zidek 17th, and Jonsson 49th. The highest American finished 23rd.

4 x 6k Relay

Predicted:

Gold – Russia

Silver – Germany

Bronze – Sweden

Actual:

Gold – Russia

Silver – France

Bronze – Germany

Sweden finished 5th. The United States finished 17th.

All in all, I’m not as happy with these predictions as I was with the skiing, but like I said up top, biathlon is so dependent on the shooting stations that it is almost impossible to predict.

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