Laura Dahlmeier setting standard with 2nd gold in PyeongChang
By winning the women's 7.5km sprint, Laura Dahlmeier was awarded a 24-second head start in Monday's 10km pursuit.
That was all she needed.
Dahlmeier earned her second straight gold medal at these Olympics by winning the women's 10 pursuit by 29.4 seconds at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Dahlmeier finished the pursuit in 30 minutes, 35.5 seconds and missed just one shot in her four shooting bouts. She's the first athlete at the PyeongChang Games to win two medals, both gold.
She led the pursuit for the first 4 kilometers before Slovakian biathlete Anastasiya Kuzmina overtook the lead around the 4.9km-mark.
Everything changed at 6km, the second shooting bout, when Kuzmina missed one of her shots and Dahlmeier shot clean. That allowed Dahlmeier to break away and she never relinquished her lead.
"It's the same in any pressure race," Dahlmeier said, "because you have to stay focused on your own targets and I think I am a little bit of a master of perseverance."
Kuzmina joined Dahlmeier on the podium as the silver medalist in a near-photo finish with France's Anais Bescond, who took the bronze. Kuzmina won the silver despite missing four of her shots.
The 24-year-old Dahlmeier became the first woman to win both the women's sprint and pursuit in a single Winter Olympics.
"It feels really great," Dahlmeier said. "It's amazing. I don't know what to say because I felt really, really tired before the race and also during the race in the first laps. I just tried to stay focused and now I'm here again."
Dahlmeier's the third German to win the pursuit since its introduction to the Olympics in the 2002 Salt Lake Games.
Kati Wilhelm (2006) and Magdalena Neuner (2010) are the two other Germans to win the event.
The pursuit is an event Dahlmeier usually excels in. She's won gold in each of the last two world championships and she's the first reigning world champion to win the Olympic pursuit.
More than half (10 of 19) of her World Cup wins have come in the event. Now, she's 1 for 1 in it at the Olympics.
Kuzmina joined Wilhelm as the only two athletes to win multiple Olympic medals in the pursuit. Kuzmina also won silver at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
"Maybe I was a little bit stressed, I wanted to fight this with Laura and the girls," Kuzmina said, "and I think that it was a good result for me.
"It's always, always about your mind. It's always about if you believe and today, it was for sure a really good fight for gold."
In the men's event Monday, Martin Fourcade, of France, overcame a 27.8-second deficit at the first shooting bout to win the men's 12.5km pursuit. He became the first biathlete to successfully defend a gold in the event.
Biathlon has Tuesday off. It returns Wednesday with the women's 15km individual (6:05 a.m EST).