Biathlon: What to know for women’s individual event

Laura Dahlmeier

Through two women’s events, it’s been the same story at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Laura Dahlmeier’s star has shined brightest.

The 24-year-old German became the first athlete to win two medals at these Games with her gold in the women’s 10km pursuit. She also took gold in the 7.5km sprint.

On Wednesday, Dahlmeier has a shot at scoring a rare hat-trick in PyeongChang.

Everyday a star is born, and in biathlon at PyeongChang, Dahlmeier’s star is shining brightest.

Here are a few things to know about the women’s 15km individual.

What it is
This is the “traditional biathlon competition,” as the International Biathlon Union describes it. It’s simple.

Each athlete races and shoots against the clock individually. The fastest time wins gold. The second fastest wins silver. Third gets bronze. Once an athlete completes the course, they have to wait until the rest of the field finishes.

The medal winners at the 2014 Sochi Olympics finished in under 45 minutes. Darya Domracheva finished in 43 minutes, 19.6 seconds. Selina Gasparin, of Switzerland, captured silver, closing at 44 minutes, 35.3 seconds.

Nadezhda Skardino of Belarus got the bronze at 44 minutes, 57.8 seconds. Two of the three on the podium were from Belarus.

How to watch
The women’s 15km individual begins at 6:05 a.m. EST and you can watch it live right here.

Team USA
It’s been a disappointing Olympics for U.S. Biathlon, which entered the Games expecting to compete for its first-ever Olympic medal. Through four biathlon total events, the Americans have yet to come close to reaching the podium.

After having just one biathlete in the pursuit Monday, Team USA will have a full field in the women’s individual.

That means we’ll see Susan Dunklee return to action. Dunklee offers the American women’s best chance at medaling.

Dunklee finished in 66th place during Saturday’s 7.5km sprint. She will surely attempt to channel that disappointment to rebound in her second event.

Expectations coming into PyeongChang were high for U.S. Biathlon, at least from within. Thus far, Team USA hasn’t lived up to them. It’s still early and the individual offers another opportunity for Dunklee and Co. to get the first Olympic medal for U.S. Biathlon.

What to watch
Let’s kick this section off with some Dahlmeier things to watch. Because why not. She’s been dominant.

Dahlmeier can become the fourth biathlete ever to win three gold medals at one Winter Olympics.

She can join biathlon legend Ole Einar Bjoerndalen as the only biathletes to win gold in the individual, pursuit and sprint. She can become the first woman to win a medal in the sprint, pursuit and individual in a single Games.

A gold would make Dahlmeier the third-ever German woman to win the individual event.

Some other nuggets to keep an eye on.

Domracheva has a chance to become the first athlete with three medals in the women’s 15km individual event, a medal would make Dorothea Wierer the first Italian athlete in the individual in an Olympics, and Kaisa Makarainen is looking to become the first Finnish woman to win an Olympic biathlon medal.

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