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    HomeTop NewsFrance takes gold in men's biathlon; U.S. women make best-ever effort

    France takes gold in men's biathlon; U.S. women make best-ever effort

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    Feb. 8 (UPI) — France won its first gold meal at the Winter Olympics on Tuesday when Quentin Fillon Maillet defeated Anton Smolksi of Belarus in the men’s 20-kilometer individual biathlon, while Johannes Thingnes Boe took the bronze.

    After falling back to the ninth position after the second prone stage, Maillet recovered to finish in 48.47.4, beating Smolksi by 14.8 seconds and Boe by 3.1. Aside from the gold, he also won a silver in the mixed relay biathlon event.

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    Late Monday, Denise Hermann of Germany took gold in the women’s 15-kilometer individual biathlon. Anaise Chevalier-Bouchet of France won silver and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland of Norway got the bronze.

    Despite not winning a medal, American Deedra Irwin of Wisconsin turned in the best performance in Team USA history, placing seventh.

    “I was trying to focus on just working on everything I’ve worked on this week,” said Irwin, who is competing in her first Olympic Winter Games, “really skiing the course well and staying calm on the range and being ready for anything — with wind or whatever.”

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    Since the sport’s inception at the Olympics in 1960, Team USA has never won a medal in it. In Tuesday’s field of 92 competitors, Jake Brown led the Americans, finishing at 28th.

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