STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Fourcade edges Schempp in photo finish for gold in 15km mass start

Martin Fourcade didn't believe it. Still doesn’t. “I’m still waiting for them to tell me that I’m not...

Posted: Feb 18, 2018 12:45 PM
Updated: Feb 18, 2018 12:45 PM

Martin Fourcade didn't believe it. Still doesn’t.

“I’m still waiting for them to tell me that I’m not the winner,” Fourcade said Sunday.

Fourcade thought it was happening again. He was going to be sunk by a fraction of centimeters. Again.

Just like Sochi four years ago, when he lost gold by less than three centimeters in the mass start.

This time, though, the metric system was on his side.

Fourcade overcame two missed targets and a tumble after his first penalty loop to beat Simon Schempp in a dramatic photo finish in the men’s 15km mass start at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea. They finished in 35 minutes, 47.3 seconds.

“I thought about that during the whole last loop because I thought this would happen again,” Fourcade said, “and when I saw the line, I had a deep feeling that I’d lost.

"For now, it's not real yet. I'm just waiting to be back in my room, open my phone and see that it's real. But now, it feels like I'm in a dream."

After both Fourcade and Schempp missed a target in the fourth shooting bout – it was Fourcade’s second of the race – Fourcade headed toward the final 100 meters slightly ahead of Schempp.

Schempp, however, closed the gap and the two came to the finish line neck-to-neck.

Fourcade, as he slid past the line, reached out his left foot ahead of Schempp and then slammed his pole into the group thinking he had lost the race by a matter of centimeters.

The line, Fourcade thought, belonged to Schempp, but the German thought otherwise.

“I chose my corridor really late because I knew that if he saw me go right or left,” Schempp said, “he would change his corridor. I chose really late, so I was behind him before the corridors.

“I needed a little bit more speed than him, but my speed, at the end, was good in the sprint but the line came maybe five meters too soon.”

The 29-year-old Fourcade captured his first gold medal in the mass start after grabbing silver in the past two Winter Olympics, including the photo finish loss to Emil Hegle Svendsen in Sochi.

Svendsen skied his way to a bronze medal Sunday, closing 11.2 seconds behind Fourcade and Schempp. Svendsen, 32, hit 18 of his 20 targets.

The gold is Fourcade’s second in four individual events at the PyeongChang Olympics.

He placed eighth in the men’s sprint and then dominated the pursuit one day later.

In Thursday’s individual event, Fourcade finished fifth – another disappointing showing.

Sunday had all the makings of another frustrating performance for Fourcade. He missed once on his first shooting bout and then fell after skiing his penalty loop, but he kept his composure.

With the win, Fourcade equaled the French Olympic record of four gold medals – it was his sixth medal overall. He shares that title with fencers Christian d’Oriola and Lucien Gaudin.

“It means a lot because today,” Fourcade said, “I’m the best French Winter Olympian and that means a lot to me because I’m a big fan of sport and I grew up watching the Olympics on TV.

“So to be the best French athlete at the Olympics is not something I was fighting for, but I’m so proud of. … But it was not the aim before I came to the Olympics.”

For Schempp, 29, the silver medal is the German’s first individual Olympic medal. He also won silver as part of Germany’s men’s relay team in Sochi.

“I waited a long time here at the Olympics and finally,” he said, “I get my medal in the last individual race so I’m really satisfied with myself. I was happy to get one of these three medals.”

Norwegian biathlete Johannes Thingnes Boe, who won gold in the men’s individual and was one of the favorites entering the mass start, counted himself out early with three missed targets in his second shooting bout. Boe finished 16th, closing at 37 minutes, 7.3 seconds and 17 of 20 shooting.

No Americans qualified for the mass start.

Biathlon has Monday off before returning to Tuesday (6:15 a.m.) with the mixed relay.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320107

Reported Deaths: 7378
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22291269
Hinds20741421
Harrison18444317
Rankin13917282
Jackson13731249
Madison10270224
Lee10060176
Jones8473167
Forrest7834153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636088
Lafayette6314121
Washington5426137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4161136
Union415877
Neshoba4064180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387087
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3372111
Alcorn327473
Scott320374
Yazoo314371
Adams308386
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298984
Simpson298589
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272274
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248963
Tishomingo232268
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 71°
Columbus
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 69°
Oxford
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 64°
Starkville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 66°
High pressure will continue to dominate our weather forecast over the next few days. This will at least keep our area dry for our Wednesday and maybe a little room for a few showers on our Thursday, however nothing major.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather