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Team USA’s Dunklee 18th after threatening for women’s pursuit medal; Domracheva wins

Biathlon - Winter Olympics Day 4

xxxx competes in the Women’s 10 km Pursuit during day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Doug Pensinger

Two days after posting the best Olympic sprint finish ever for a U.S. female biathlete, Susan Dunklee (pictured, left) almost gave the Americans their first-ever Olympic biathlon medal.

Dunklee rose as high as fourth during today’s women’s 10km pursuit and was in contention for the bronze going into the last of four shooting ranges in the event. But that was where things turned bad for the Vermont native, who missed on three of five shots from the starting position.

The subsequent penalty laps sent Dunklee down the running order and she wound up 18th at the finish, 1:40.9 behind winner Darya Domracheva of Belarus, who claimed the gold despite one missed shot in her final round of shooting.

It was a dominant performance from Domracheva, who beat out reigning world pursuit champion Tora Berger of Norway by 37.6 seconds. Teja Gregorin of Slovenia finished a few seconds back of Berger for the bronze.

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Domracheva had previously won the bronze four years ago at Vancouver in the 15km individual, as well as a pair of world championships (2012 - pursuit; 2013 - mass start).

Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina (pictured, right), who defended her Olympic sprint title on Sunday, finished sixth. Sara Studebaker and Annalies Cook were 51st and 54th respectively for the Americans.

WOMEN’S BIATHLON - 10km pursuit
1. Darya Domracheva (BLR), 29:30.7
2. Tora Berger (NOR), 30:08.3
3. Teja Gregorin (SLO), 30:12.7
18. Susan Dunklee (USA), 31:11.6
51. Sara Studebaker (USA), 35:00.0
54. Annalies Cook (USA), 36:20.9

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