The Americans made biathlon history today, if not the history we were hoping for. No medals yet, but some bests nonetheless.
Unlike the men's sprint, the top women all shot clean. That might have been all the difference here, as the favorites going into the event – Olena Pidrushna, Tora Berger and Darya Domracheva – each missed a target and finished ninth, 10th and 26th respectively.
Slovakia's Anastasiya Kuzmina took the gold, repeating her performance in Vancouver and becoming the first female biathlete in Olympic history to do so. Her victory was decisive, too: 20 seconds ahead of silver medalist Olga Vilukhina of Russia. Ukrainke's Vita Semerenko placed third.
Kuzmina dedicated her medal to her brother, Anton Shipulin, who took fourth in yesterday's men's sprint.
For the Americans, Susan Dunklee finished a very respectable fourteenth, missing her very last target. (She told NBC she "thought too much" before taking her last shot.) Had she made it, we could have had our first American biathlon medalist. As it was, she got our best women's sprint finish ever and tied for the best female biathlon Olympic finish.
Dunklee told Team USA she's "peaking at the right time." Missing the final target was "a little heartbreaking, but I was able to laugh at myself and keep going."
Sara Studebaker also missed once and finished 44th, just ahead of Annelies Cook, who missed twice and came in 53rd. Hannah Dreissigacker had a bad day, missing four times and coming in 65th, which means she will not compete in the pursuit.
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