Germany's Arnd Peiffer followed in the footsteps of compatriot Laura Dahlmeier by shooting clean to secure the men's sprint gold medal as pre-race favourite Martin Fourcade finished a disappointing eighth at the Winter Olympic Games here today.
Sochi 2014 relay silver medallist Peiffer produced a composed display in tough conditions and freezing temperatures in the 10 kilometres race.
The 30-year-old's time of 23min 38.8sec was enough to seal the first sprint double by one country since the women's discipline was introduced at the 1992 Games in Albertville after Dahlmeier triumphed in the 7.5km event yesterday.
Michal Krčmář of the Czech Republic chose the perfect time to clinch his maiden major biathlon medal as he took silver, 4.4 seconds behind Peiffer.
Dominik Windisch of Italy earned the bronze medal as he amassed one penalty before finishing 7.7 seconds behind Peiffer.
Fourcade, the poster boy of the sport, was expected to at least claim a place on the podium but three misses in the prone shooting stage ended any realistic hope of the Frenchman taking home the title.
The double Olympic champion and World Cup holder was unable to recover from the uncharacteristically poor start as he completed his time on the course in eight place, his lowest result in his previous 42 races.
Peiffer, fifth on the World Cup leaderboard, has nine international victories in his career, seven coming in his favoured sprint discipline.
"It’s crazy because I didn’t expect it was possible for me to be on top," the German said.
"I wouldn’t say I am an underdog but I’m not one of the top guys.
"It sounds strange because I'm 30 years old, it's my third Olympics, and the last two sprints in Vancouver and Sochi I performed badly in the sprints because I had two and three penalties and I put a lot of pressure on myself..
"Today I was a bit more relaxed I think and of course I did a good job on the range today and that was the key to be in front so I'm quite surprised."
The men's and women's pursuit events, held over 12.5km and 10km respectively, are due to take place tomorrow.