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Biathlon: What to know for women’s 7.5km sprint

Biathlon kicks off Saturday with the women’s 7.5km sprint, which offers U.S. Biathlon its first opportunity to win...

Posted: Feb 9, 2018 10:54 AM
Updated: Feb 9, 2018 10:54 AM

Biathlon kicks off Saturday with the women’s 7.5km sprint, which offers U.S. Biathlon its first opportunity to win its first Olympic medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

Here are a few things to know about the women’s 7.5km sprint.

What it is
The women’s 7.5km sprint is an individual event in which the biathletes ski for one half of the individual with two shooting bouts instead of four. Additionally, biathletes must ski a penalty loop for each target they miss instead of having a minute added to their time.

How to watch
The competition begins at 6:15 a.m. EST and you can watch it live right here.

Sochi in review
Anastasia Kuzmina (Slovakia) won her second Olympic gold medal, finishing in 21 minutes, 6.8 seconds. Kuzmina also won gold in the 7.5km sprint at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Russian biathlete Olga Vilukhina took silver but has since been banned and stripped of it as part of the International Olympic Committee's punishment for anti-doping violations.

Russian athletes competing at the PyeongChang Games are doing so under Olympic Athletes from Russia and medals won will not count toward the country's all-time total.

Vita Semerenko of Ukraine was 21.7 seconds behind Kuzmina to capture bronze.

Susan Dunklee was the highest-finishing American, coming in 14th place at 21 minutes, 48.3 seconds — 41.5 seconds behind Kuzmina.

Team USA
Dunklee presents the Americans with their best chance at medaling, and she’s coming off winning a silver medal in the 2017 World Championships.

"I think we're going to take that confidence," Dunklee told reporters Wednesday, "knowing that we can be there on a good day, into the races, but we have a lot of work to do to be able to do that again so we're going to try to stay focused the best we can."

Who to watch
Look for Laura Dahlmeier (Germany) to compete for the gold. Dahlmeier, 24, had a strong world championships last year, winning gold in five events and silver in the sprint.

Other names to watch include Darya Domracheva (Belarus), Kaisa Makarainen (Finland), Anastasiya Merkushyna (Ukraine) and Dorothea Wierer (Italy).

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