Biathlon at the 1976 Winter Olympics – Relay
The Men's 4 x 7.5 kilometre biathlon relay competition at the 1976 Winter Olympics took place on 13 February, at Seefeld. Each national team consisted of four members, with each skiing 7.5 kilometres and shooting twice, once prone and once standing.
|Men's biathlon relay|
at the XII Olympic Winter Games
|Competitors||60 from 15 nations|
At each shooting station, a competitor has eight shots to hit five targets; however, only five bullets are loaded in a magazine at one - if additional shots are required, the spare bullets must be loaded one at a time. If after the eight shots are taken, there are still targets not yet hit, the competitor must ski a 150-metre penalty loop.
The Soviet Union had lost just one major championship in the last nine years, but it was also the most recent one, as they were beaten to the 1975 world championship by the Finns. The chances of this repeating were all but eliminated after the first leg, however; while Aleksandr Elizarov went through in the fastest time, more than 30 seconds clear, Henrik Flöjt missed a shot and finished the leg 7th, well over two minutes behind. Esko Saira made up some ground on the Soviets, and pulled Finland into second, but Kruglov and Tikhonov put together the two of the three fastest legs of the competition to close out a gold medal win.
The Finns were in a battle with the West Germans after two legs, but Josef Keck took three penalties, and left Finland with a big gap, which they easily took to a silver medal. East Germany had been floundering in 7th after three legs, as Frank Ullrich struggled with her shooting, taking four penalties. However, Manfred Geyer shot clear and had the second fastest leg overall, pulling them up past four teams to get the bronze medal.
- "Final Report - XII. Olympische Winterspiele Innsbruck 1976" (PDF). Organizing Committee for the XIIth Winter Olympic Games 1976. LA84 Foundation. 1976. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- "Biathlon at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games: Men's 4 x 7.5 kilometres Relay". Sports Reference. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
- Wallechinsky, David (1976). The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics. New York: The Overlook Press. p. 320. ISBN 1-58567-185-1.