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Germany's Greis Wins Triple Gold in Turin Olympics
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Germany's Michael Greis finished the men's 15km mass start first in Italy Saturday, reaping his third biathlon gold in the Turin Olympics.


Greis missed one target in his first standing shooting and took a 150m penalty loop. But his fast ski made him cross the finish line 6.3 seconds before Poland's Tomasz Sikora, who took the silver.


"I want to thank everybody who has supported me since I was young. I especially dedicated my medal to my girlfriend Katia," Greis said at a press conference after the race.


"It's incredible that I'm the most successful athlete of the Games. It's a very emotional moment and all my nerves have gone now," he said.


Sitting next to Greis was five-time Olympic champion Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway, who took the bronze after missing three targets in standing shooting.


Bjoerndalen, who took all four biathlon golds on offer in the Salt Lake City Games, had hoped to earn more golds to better countryman Bjoern Daehlie's record of eight Olympic gold medals. But he ended his Turin journey with two silvers and one bronze.


With disappointment on face, Bjoernadalen said he was upset with his performance today.


"It wasn't good enough today, which is a shame because I'm in bloody good shape," he said. "I had really, really good skis but so did other people, so I didn't manage to ski away from them.


"Today, I relied too much on the standing shooting. That is why I missed the target."


Bjoerndalen missed three shots in standing shooting and took a total of 450m penalty loop, which made him impossible to catch up with Greis.


Comparing his performances in two Olympics, Bjoerndalen said: "It is really dangerous to say that you are not satisfied if you don't get a gold medal."


"It is more important to focus on the races, and I've done good races, just not good enough."


But the 32-year-old Norwegian, hailed as biathlon king, said he still had the dream of winning more golds and beating Daehlif's eight-gold record.


"To Bjoern Daehlie is a goal for me, but it is not easy. I will go on with my career and then we will see."


Bjoerndalen took the bronze with 12.3 seconds behind Greis and Sikora won the silver in 47:26.3.


(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2006)

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