Olympics-Biathlon-Heartbroken Tandrevold heads home after finish line collapse

Biathlon - Women's 10km Pursuit
2022 Beijing Olympics – Biathlon – Women’s 10km Pursuit – National Biathlon Centre, Zhangjiakou, China – February 13, 2022. Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold of Norway is assisted after the race. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

February 14, 2022

By Philip O’Connor

ZHANGJIAKOU, China (Reuters) – Norwegian biathlete Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold is leaving the Beijing Olympics as a precautionary measure following her late collapse in Sunday’s pursuit race, where she ran out of gas late in the event before crashing to the ground at the finish line.

Tandrevold looked set to make the podium at the Zhangjiakou Biathlon Centre but she doubled over on the last run into the stadium as other racers whizzed past her, eventually finishing in 14th place, which team doctor Lars Kolsrud put down to exhaustion.

“As it is now, it has been decided that I will not be allowed to go any more distances in the Olympics due to health reasons. I am very sad, my heart is broken,” Tandrevold told a media conference on Monday.

“I had one of my best days at work until it suddenly became the worst,” she said, putting the collapse down to the altitude of the biathlon venue.

However, Tandrevold has twice suffered from an irregular heart rhythm while racing, in 2017 and 2021, and even though she would prefer to stay on, team officials did not want to take any risks with her health until further tests can be carried out.

“I am only 25 years old and I hope to have many good years ahead of me. As I have had heart problems previously, we have to be careful,” she said, adding that she planned to leave China as soon as possible.

Tandrevold will be replaced for Wednesday’s relay by Karoline Knotten, and she will race along with Marte Olsbu Roeiseland, who has three gold medals already at the Beijing Games, Ida Lien and Tiril Eckhoff, who took bronze in the pursuit after her team mate’s collapse.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Michael Perry)

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