Missed it by that |-------------------------------------------------------| much
They started together, and 15 kilometers later, they finished together.
After more than 9 miles and 42 ½ minutes, only a few inches -- just centimeters -- separated them as they hit the finish line.
Emil Hegle Svendsen, the Norwegian who has won 11 world championships in various biathlon disciplines, almost gave away the race, letting up a few meters from the finish line as Martin Fourcade tried a last-gasp pass.
No sweat, said Svendsen.
"It might have looked like I could lose gold, but I had good control over him," he said. You might want to look at the photo finish then, champ.
The Frenchman was conciliatory.
"We both fought. Emil is stronger on the last loop and I am a better shooter," Fourcade, who had won two gold medals already at these Games. "It was a really hard race, and in the end, Emil won."
Turns out, Svendsen was the better shooter Tuesday; he hit every target.
Fourcade's one miss cost him one penalty loop -- 150 meters.
One and only
This time there was plenty of room atop the medal podium.
Tina Maze, co-gold medalist in the women's downhill, was the clear winner of the giant slalom despite conditions that often were not clear at all.
As it snowed at the top of the course, heavy rain at the bottom delayed the second run of the event.
Maze, of Slovenia, didn't mind the wait.
"I was watching hockey between the runs. The guys (Slovenia's surprising team) were playing so well. They just gave me a will to show so much more," she said after her win.
Maze finished with a two-run total time of 2:36.87, just ahead of Anna Fenninger of Austria.
Maze said she didn't care if it was rainy, or sunny like when she raced earlier in the Games.
"The weather is playing games with us, but I love it when it works out fine," she said.