France took its first gold of the Sochi Olympics when Martin Fourcade won the biathlon pursuit but Norwegian legend Ole Einar Bjoerndalen narrowly missed out on an outright Winter Games medals record.
Bjoerndalen started the race equal with Norwegian cross country ski great Bjoern Daehlie on the all-time record of 12 medals won for the Winter Olympics.
But despite showing good ski speed, Bjoerndalen missed targets in the second prone and both standing shootings to come in fourth in 34:14.5 just 1.7sec behind France's Jean Guillaume Beatrix in third.
Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic won the silver — it was his first Olympic medal. His career best had been the bronze in the mixed relay at the 2013 World Championship. Jean-Guillaume Beátrix also won his first Olympic medal.
Fourcade, who took his first gold to add to his silver in the mass start at Vancouver in 2010, dominated the race from the mid-stage and even had the time to clench his first in triumph after a clear final shooting.