Biathlon at the 2006 Winter Olympics – Men's individual
|Men's biathlon individual
at the XX Olympic Winter Games
Men's biathlon 20 km individual final
|Venue||Cesana San Sicario|
|Competitors||89 from 35 nations|
|Biathlon at the
2006 Winter Olympics
The individual race consisted of five laps around a four kilometre loop with four stops at the shooting range. During each shooting section, each biathlete fired five shots at five targets. Misses resulted in penalties of one minute per miss being added to the time for the course. The first and third shooting sections were conducted in the prone position, while the second and fourth were done standing. A total of 88 biathletes competed, starting with a staggered start and 30 seconds behind each competitor.
Michael Greis of Germany hit 19 of the 20 targets and used a net time of 54:23.0 (with one penalty minute) to clinch the gold medal, 16 seconds ahead of Norway's Ole Einar Bjørndalen. Norway also won the bronze medal, with Halvard Hanevold beating Sergei Tchepikov by 0.8 seconds despite two penalty minutes to the Russian's one.
The previous year's trial World Cup event at this track saw Michael Greis of Germany win the event in a time of 53:18.7. At the 2005 World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, the Czech Roman Dostál won, while Ole Einar Bjørndalen was the defending Olympic champion, as he was in all the other men's events (except the mass start, which is held for the first time at the Olympics). However, neither Bjørndalen (9th) nor Dostal (33rd) headed the men's individual World Cup standings—the German Michael Greis did.
The event started with early starters Ricco Groß (Germany, started as number 4) and Pavel Rostovtsev (Russia, 1) shooting well, missing one and two of their 20 shots respectively; Groß suffered his missed shot on the very last of the four shootings. However, their cross-country times were not good enough, as Rene Vuillermoz (Italy, 13) beat Groß by 14 seconds on the first loop. With only one miss in his first 15 shots, Vuillermoz could have taken the lead if he had hit all five targets on the final shooting. However, he missed three times and eventually finished 25th. Maxim Tchoudov (Russia, 14) led after two loops, 28 seconds ahead of Groß, but had spoiled his chance with three missed shots. By that time, many of the best skiers had started, with Greis (38) coming into the third shooting after one miss on the second. He hit five targets, and went out in the second best time, 12 seconds behind Marek Matiasko (Slovakia, 21), who was yet to miss a shot. Meanwhile, the defending champion Bjørndalen (54) had missed once on each of the first two shootings, and when all had passed the second loop he was 15th.
However, Bjørndalen completed the third loop quickly, and with five hits he cut Greis' lead from 39 to 23 seconds just before Greis was to shoot his fourth shooting. Greis did not miss, and with the leader Matiasko conceding one penalty minute, Greis took the lead nearly a minute ahead of second-placed Julien Robert (France, 35), who had not missed a single shot. Some other late starters visited the top ten after the first loops, such as Sven Fischer (Germany, 63) and Zdeněk Vítek (Czech Republic, 67) but vanished, and there were only four others who could beat Greis' skiing speed. Except for Bjørndalen, all of the previous had started before him, but missed too many shots to compete; however, Bjørndalen had caught 37 seconds on the first 12 km, and needed a further 23. Thus, Bjørndalen was the only threat, and though Bjørndalen hit all five targets on the final shooting, he struggled with loading the rifle before the final shot. He later said he lost "7-8 seconds" on the error. Thus, Bjørndalen did not beat the German in the fourth loop, and though he cut a further seven seconds off Greis' time in the final loop, it was only enough to take the silver. The late starting Halvard Hanevold (Norway, 74), shot down the last 10 targets to jump from 28th place after two loops to a fourth place after the fourth, with third-placed Robert eight seconds ahead with two penalty minutes less. Hanevold had no problems with catching Robert on the final lap, ending nearly half a minute ahead, but lost seconds to Sergei Tchepikov (Russia, 28), who improved all the way through the course. Eventually, his 6.3-second lead after the fourth loop turned into 0.8 seconds in goal; it was enough, though, and Hanevold could celebrate his second Olympic medal on the individual event. Jay Hakkinen become the first American to finish in the Top 10 ever in the Winter Olympic biathlon with his 10th-place finish.
One Austrian athlete was disqualified after the IOC determined they had violated the Anti-Doping rules; Wolfgang Perner had originally placed 60th.
|Ole Einar Bjørndalen||Norway||52:39.0||2||54:39.0||+0:16.0|
|7||Christian De Lorenzi||Italy||55:04.0||1||56:04.0||+1:41.0|
|10||Jay Hakkinen||United States||53:10.9||3||56:10.9||+1:47.9|
|22||Zdeněk Vítek||Czech Republic||54:26.8||3||57:26.8||+3:03.8|
|23||Carl Johan Bergman||Sweden||54:30.9||3||57:30.9||+3:07.9|
|25||Rene Laurent Vuillermoz||Italy||54:17.9||4||58:17.9||+3:54.9|
|27||Lowell Bailey||United States||55:45.1||3||58:45.1||+4:22.1|
|30||Roman Dostál||Czech Republic||54:53.5||4||58:53.5||+4:30.5|
|33||Tomáš Holubec||Czech Republic||57:13.1||2||59:13.1||+4:50.1|
|44||Mattias Nilsson Jr.||Sweden||55:01.1||5||60:01.1||+5:38.1|
|45||Michal Šlesingr||Czech Republic||55:03.8||5||60:03.8||+5:40.8|
|48||Jean Philippe Leguellec||Canada||57:28.0||3||60:28.0||+6:05.0|
|51||Jeremy Teela||United States||56:03.3||5||61:03.3||+6:40.3|
|57||Tom Clemens||Great Britain||57:43.9||4||61:43.9||+7:20.9|
|58||Tim Burke||United States||54:55.0||7||61:55.0||+7:32.0|
|80||Luis Alberto Hernando||Spain||59:54.4||7||66:54.4||+12:31.4|
|81||Park Yoon-Bae||South Korea||60:03.4||7||67:03.4||+12:40.4|
|83||Miro Ćosić||Bosnia and Herzegovina||61:32.7||7||68:32.7||+14:09.7|
|85||Aleksandar Milenković||Serbia and Montenegro||61:36.3||9||70:36.3||+16:13.3|
|- 998||Mihail Gribusencov||Moldova||Did not start|
- "Torino 2006 Official Report - Biathlon" (PDF). Torino Organizing Committee. LA84 Foundation. March 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-12. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
- E.ON-Ruhrgas World Cup 7 - Torino - Cesana San Sicario (ITA) Men 20 km Individual Final Results Archived July 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., from biathlonworld.com, retrieved 19 January 2006
- (Norwegian) (ed) Tore Johansen, Egil Svendsby Sportsboken 2005, pg. 225, Chr. Schibsteds Forlag 2005. ISBN 82-516-2168-2.
- World Cup Individual Score Men Standings after 2 of 3 competitions Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., from biathlonworld.com, retrieved 19 January 2006
- (Norwegian) Gull til Greis, by Sjur B. Kvamme, published by NRK on 11 February 2006
- "Torino 2006: Six Austrian Athletes Declared Permanently Ineligible". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved August 31, 2009.