Darya Domracheva of Belarus won three conservative gold medals in the biathlon at the 2014 Winter Olympics. The latest was in the 12.5K mass start.
“Maybe it’s strange, but I don’t feel like I’ve done something special,” Domracheva said. “I just tried to enjoy myself and I did my race with a laugh. But for sure, it’s amazing.”
She took the lead right away and never looked back. After the first four minutes she was so far ahead no one could catch up to her. She finished in 35 minutes, 25.6 seconds. Czech Republic’s Gabriela Soukalova finished second at 20.2 seconds behind and Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff finished third at 27.3 seconds.
Domracheva formed the shape of a heart with her hands after the race, and later explained: “I did that for all the spectators. They started to support me during the Olympics and I heard ‘Darya! Darya!’ from the stands.”
She only missed one target on her final target and that could have given Soukalova a chance to catch up, but she also missed. That meant Domracheva kept her 14.7-second lead. She is happy to have the silver.
“I was happy with just one mistake,” Soukalova said. “After the last shooting I started to believe it’s going to be a successful day for me.”
It was Soukalova’s first Olympic medal, 30 years after her mother Gabriela Svobodova won silver in the women’s cross-country relay for Czechoslovakia.
“I hope my mother is going to be happy that I am now as successful as her,” Soukalova said.
Only Kati Wilhelm of Germany has won three gold medals in biathlon, but she won them over the span of two Olympics.