Domracheva wins mass start to take third gold

Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:40pm EST
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By Julien Pretot

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Darya Domracheva's dazzling Sochi Games continued on Monday when she took gold in the 12.5km mass start to become the first woman to win three biathlon titles at the same Winter Olympics.

The Belarusian, who also won the 12.5km pursuit and 15km individual titles, took the lead early and never looked back, making only one mistake on the shooting range and skiing way too fast for the opposition to catch up.

Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic took silver 20.2 seconds behind after she also made a mistake on the range.

"I am thankful to the people who support me. Without their support it'd be harder," Domracheva told a news conference.

"I was hearing 'Dasha, Dasha' from the tribune.

"Russian family, Belarusian family. All these nations, Russians, Belarusians, we are like brothers and sisters. For me, I feel this country is really native for me," she added.

"Maybe it sounds strange but it does not feel like I did something special. I did it with love."

Domracheva's dominance meant her rivals were racing for silver.   Continued...

Darya Domracheva of Belarus celebrates as she approaches the finish line to win the women's biathlon 12.5km mass start event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 17, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth