New Delhi: Martin Fourcade, who hails from France, won the 12.5 km event at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre, to became the first biathlete to successfully defend Winter Olympic title. The 29-year-old Frenchman, who won in Sochi four years ago, clocked 32 minutes and 51.7 seconds to take the gold, beating Sebastian Samuelsson of Sweden to second place in 33:03.7.

Benedikt Doll of Germany took the bronze in 33:06.8. Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Bo finished fourth having started in 31st place, one minute and 13 seconds back.

Fourcade said: “I’m very satisfied… The sprint race was the one I wanted to win. It was the one that I have never won at the Olympics.”

The six-time biathlon world cup winner said: “For me, the finish line today was on the shooting range on the last shot and I am so satisfied that I shot clean because I spent so much energy on shooting to achieve this kind of beautiful shooting.

“And today I’m really proud and really satisfied to win my third gold in the Olympics.” (With IANS inputs)