Johannes Thingnes Boe denied first sweep of individual golds at biathlon worlds

Johannes Thingnes Boe
Johannes Thingnes Boe

Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe nearly became the first biathlete to sweep all four individual gold medals at a world championships.

Boe, a 29-year-old who won four golds at last year’s Olympics (two in relays), captured the sprint, pursuit and individual, then took bronze in Sunday’s 15km mass start in Oberhof, Germany.

He still finished with five gold medals, a silver and a bronze in the seven events at worlds, tying the record of seven medals a single worlds. Biathlon worlds didn’t have seven events until 2019.

In Sunday’s finale, he led by 11.8 seconds going into the fourth and final shooting stage, but his third miss of the day proved too much to overcome.

He fell 6.8 seconds behind after skiing his penalty loop and ended up in third place, 16.5 seconds behind Swede Sebastian Samuelsson, who went 20 for 20 shooting on the day.

Boe still matched the record of five gold medals at a worlds shared by German Laura Dahlmeier (2017) and Norwegian Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (2020).

Biathlon worlds had four events per gender through 1996, then five starting in 1997. A mixed-gender relay was added in 2005 and another in 2019.

At last year’s Olympics, Boe shared the glory with Frenchman Quentin Fillon Maillet. They split the four individual men’s gold medals. The best biathlete at the Games may have been Roeiseland, who earned a medal in all four women’s individual events, including two golds.

This season, Boe won 11 of the 14 World Cup races going into worlds.

A highlight at worlds was when he stopped before the finish line of last Sunday’s 12.5km pursuit — guaranteed to win by more than one minute in a 34-minute event — and mimicked countryman Erling Haaland‘s goal-scoring celebration.

Roeiseland earned one individual bronze in the first three women’s events at worlds going into the mass start later Sunday. The individual titles were split among German Denise Herrmann-Wick, Frenchwoman Julia Simon and Swede Hanna Oeberg.

Deedra Irwin, 30, had the best individual U.S. finish at worlds — 20th place in the women’s individual. Last year, Irwin posted the best individual Olympic result for a U.S. biathlete in history with a seventh-place finish.

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