| Event type

4 × 7.5 kilometres Relay, Men

Date17 February 1984 — 08:45
LocationVeliko Polje, Igman
Participants68 from 17 countries
FormatEight shots for each group of five targets. Penalty loop (150 metres) skied for each missed target.
DetailsCourse Length: ?
Height Differential: 39 m
Maximum Climb: 23 m
Shooting 1: Prone at 2.5 km, 50 m range
Shooting 2: Standing at 5.0 km, 50 m range
Total Climbing: 227 m

The Soviet Union had a unique history in the Olympic biathlon relay, winning all four events since the introduction of the event at the 1968 Winter Olympics. But this time few experts would put their money on the Soviet team. In the individual events, their best placing in the 20 km was a very disappointing 17th place. The sprint was a little better, the three Soviet competitors placing 5-10-11. But they had won the 1983 World Championships with two teenagers on their team, and three of the four team-members from 1983 were on the 1984 Olympic team. East Germany was considered by most experts as favorites, and Norway and West Germany were strong medal contenders.

The Soviets had put their most inexperienced athlete on the first leg, Dmitry Vasilyev, a 21-year-old from Leningrad who was competing in an international biathlon championship for the first time. He had a modest 32nd place from the 20 km race as his only international experience. But Vasilyev did well on his opening leg, giving his team a 1:06 lead over Finland. Czechoslovakia, East Germany and West Germany followed closely, only three seconds separating the teams from second to fifth. Norway was down in ninth place, over two minutes behind the leader. Their opening leg skier, Odd Lirhus, 1978 World Champion in 20 km, had trouble with his second shooting round and had to ski two penalty laps. On the second leg, Yury Kashkarov defended his team’s lead, but East Germany’s Frank-Peter Roesch gained over half a minute and was only 26 seconds behind at the exchange. Olympic sprint champion Erik Kvalfoss had brought Norway back into the fight for medals, moving into third, 56 seconds behind the leader, with West Germany in fourth place, 52 seconds behind Norway.

On the third leg, the Soviet Union’s most experienced man, Algimantas Šalna, ran into trouble on his second shooting round and had to ski two penalty laps. He was overtaken by East Germany’s Matthias Jacob, who sent anchorman Frank Ullrich out 19 seconds ahead of the Soviet’s 19-year-old Sergey Bulygin. Peter Angerer had brought West Germany into bronze medal position only 28 seconds behind the leader, but Norway’s Rolf Storsveen had also done well and was only 44 seconds behind, still in position for a medal. The leading quartet was now at least 3-4 minutes ahead of the rest of the field. Ullrich was clearly, as shown by his individual appearances, in far from his best skiing shape. Norway’s Kjell Søbak came strongly from behind, and before the last shooting round the Soviet Union, West Germany and Norway passed Ullrich. The three teams came into the final series of standing shots close together. Young Bulygin showed good nerves and had five hits in a row. Søbak and West Germany’s Fritz Fischer had to use two extra shots and left the shooting range together 15 seconds behind Bulygin. The young Siberian fought bravely and secured the Soviet Union their fifth Olympic relay gold in a row, 12 seconds ahead of Norway’s Søbak, who was able to keep Fischer 1.2 seconds behind at the finish in a close battle for silver. Frank Ullrich brought East Germany home to a disappointing fourth place, losing over 1½ minutes to his competitors on his last leg despite a good shooting day. The Olympic relay was Ullrich’s last appearance as an active biathlete, a sad end to a great career.

(Extra Shots)
Split (Pos)
13Soviet UnionURS1-38:51.72 (9)Gold
3-1Dmitry Vasilyev24:52.40 (2)24:52.4 (1)
3-2Yury Kashkarov24:34.80 (3)49:27.2 (1)
3-3Algimantas Šalna25:17.82 (4)1-14:45.0 (2)
3-4Sergey Bulygin24:06.70 (0)1-38:51.7 (1)
26NorwayNOR1-39:03.92 (10)Silver
6-1Odd Lirhus26:56.22 (4)26:56.2 (9)
6-2Eirik Kvalfoss23:27.60 (2)50:23.8 (3)
6-3Rolf Storsveen24:46.50 (2)1-15:10.3 (4)
6-4Kjell Søbak23:53.60 (2)1-39:03.9 (2)
313West GermanyFRG1-39:05.11 (9)Bronze
13-1Ernst Reiter26:01.90 (0)26:01.9 (5)
13-2Walter Pichler25:13.51 (5)51:15.4 (5)
13-3Peter Angerer23:39.30 (0)1-14:54.7 (3)
13-4Fritz Fischer24:10.40 (4)1-39:05.1 (3)
45East GermanyGDR1-40:04.71 (9)
5-1Holger Wick26:01.21 (3)26:01.2 (4)
5-2Frank-Peter Roetsch23:52.60 (0)49:53.8 (2)
5-3Matthias Jacob24:32.80 (3)1-14:26.6 (1)
5-4Frank Ullrich25:38.10 (3)1-40:04.7 (4)
57ItalyITA1-42:32.80 (9)
7-1Adriano Darioli26:14.30 (3)26:14.3 (6)
7-2Gottlieb Taschler25:43.50 (1)51:57.8 (6)
7-3Johann Passler25:50.40 (4)1-17:48.2 (6)
7-4Andreas Zingerle24:44.60 (1)1-42:32.8 (5)
69CzechoslovakiaTCH1-42:40.54 (11)
9-1Jaromír Šimůnek25:59.50 (2)25:59.5 (3)
9-2Zdeněk Hák25:06.40 (3)51:05.9 (4)
9-3Peter Zelinka26:16.21 (3)1-17:22.1 (5)
9-4Jan Matouš25:18.43 (3)1-42:40.5 (6)
716FinlandFIN1-43:16.02 (10)
16-1Keijo Tiitola25:58.90 (2)25:58.9 (2)
16-2Toivo Mäkikyrö26:08.41 (4)52:07.3 (8)
16-3Arto Jääskeläinen26:29.91 (4)1-18:37.2 (9)
16-4Tapio Piipponen24:38.80 (0)1-43:16.0 (7)
82AustriaAUT1-43:28.11 (11)
2-1Rudi Horn26:17.20 (2)26:17.2 (7)
2-2Walter Hörl25:48.61 (3)52:05.8 (7)
2-3Franz Schuler26:18.70 (4)1-18:24.5 (7)
2-4Alfred Eder25:03.60 (2)1-43:28.1 (8)
917FranceFRA1-43:57.63 (10)
17-1Francis Mougel27:23.62 (5)27:23.6 (13)
17-2Éric Claudon25:36.10 (0)52:59.7 (10)
17-3Yvon Mougel26:22.91 (5)1-19:22.6 (11)
17-4Christian Poirot24:35.00 (0)1-43:57.6 (9)
1011SwedenSWE1-44:28.22 (14)
11-1Sven Fahlén27:02.01 (6)27:02.0 (11)
11-2Tommy Höglund25:23.40 (1)52:25.4 (9)
11-3Roger Westling26:04.90 (2)1-18:30.3 (8)
11-4Ronnie Adolfsson25:57.91 (5)1-44:28.2 (10)
114United StatesUSA1-44:31.90 (12)
4-1Bill Carow27:23.90 (4)27:23.9 (14)
4-2Don Nielsen, Jr.26:42.70 (6)54:06.6 (14)
4-3Lyle Nelson24:58.20 (1)1-19:04.8 (10)
4-4Josh Thompson25:27.10 (1)1-44:31.9 (11)
1212Great BritainGBR1-46:17.20 (13)
12-1Jim Wood27:11.60 (1)27:11.6 (12)
12-2Patrick Howdle26:20.10 (3)53:31.7 (12)
12-3Tony McLeod26:11.10 (4)1-19:42.8 (12)
12-4Charles MacIvor26:34.40 (5)1-46:17.2 (12)
1310RomaniaROU1-47:44.82 (6)
10-1Vladimir Todașcă26:35.80 (0)26:35.8 (8)
10-2Mihai Rădulescu26:33.50 (1)53:09.3 (11)
10-3Imre Lestyan26:42.10 (1)1-19:51.4 (13)
10-4Gheorghe Berdar27:53.42 (4)1-47:44.8 (13)
141HungaryHUN1-48:40.04 (13)
1-1János Spisák26:57.50 (2)26:57.5 (10)
1-2Gábor Mayer26:34.41 (4)53:31.9 (13)
1-3László Palácsik29:03.73 (6)1-22:35.6 (14)
1-4Zsolt Kovács26:04.40 (1)1-48:40.0 (14)
1514JapanJPN1-51:43.11 (16)
14-1Isao Yamase29:08.61 (5)29:08.6 (17)
14-2Shoichi Kinoshita27:35.10 (4)56:43.7 (15)
14-3Yoshinobu Murase27:31.50 (5)1-24:15.2 (15)
14-4Hiroyuki Deguchi27:27.90 (2)1-51:43.1 (15)
1615People's Republic of ChinaCHN1-53:04.10 (11)
15-1Sun Xiaoping28:54.40 (3)28:54.4 (16)
15-2Long Yunzhou28:09.10 (2)57:03.5 (17)
15-3Liu Hongwang28:27.00 (4)1-25:30.5 (16)
15-4Song Yongjun27:33.60 (2)1-53:04.1 (16)
178YugoslaviaYUG1-54:13.83 (15)
8-1Andrej Lanišek28:28.70 (4)28:28.7 (15)
8-2Jure Velepec28:32.21 (4)57:00.9 (16)
8-3Zoran Ćosić28:30.51 (4)1-25:31.4 (17)
8-4Franjo Jakovac28:42.41 (3)1-54:13.8 (17)