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1st Female Triple Olympic Gold Biathlete Born in Turin
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Kati Wilhelm of Germany won her third Olympic gold here on Saturday, becoming the first female triple-gold biathlete in the Olympic history.

Wilhelm skied through the finish line clutching a German flag in 36:43.6, enjoying a full minute and 13.6 seconds of celebration before teammate Martina Glagow arrived for the silver.

Wilhelm, the double-winner in the women's 4x7.5km relay and 7. 5km sprint and silver medalist in 10km in Salt Lake City four years ago, entered the Turin Games as a top favorite to win a medal.

But bad luck has followed her before Saturday afternoon.

In Monday's 15km individual, she altered her rifle for the second shooting because of wind but forgot to change it again before the third shooting.

She paid for the mistake and settled in 16th with five missed shots.

In Thursday's 7.5 sprint, Wilhelm had an excellent shooting but was victimized by the wrong weather forecast of her team.

The German team expected more wind and decided to let her start in the early group. Wilhelm started at 27th in heavy sleet. But it turned out sunny soon and the late starters got to ski much faster. She ended at 7th.

In Saturday's race, she didn't make any mistakes and the heavy snow did nothing to affect her performance, nor did the breezy winds.

In a relaxed mood, she grasped the lead soon after the first shooting round and it was never surrendered. After the fourth shooting, Wilhelm even had time to pump an arm aloft to a capacity crowd.

Wilhelm said she had no idea she became the first triple-gold female biathlete in the Olympic history before the race.

"But now I know. That makes me feel very proud of myself," she said after the race.
(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2006)

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