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Sochi Olympic biathlon track lengthened after measuring too short

Feb 7, 2014, 10:45 AM EST

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A Thursday measurement of the biathlon course for the Sochi Olympics found that the track’s length was shorter than the recommended 2.5 km (1.6 mi) and has brought about the addition of an extra 40 meters, or 130 feet.

The decision has surprised U.S. head coach Per Nilsson, but he told the Associated Press that putting in the course extension was the right choice to make. The extension will be used onward from Sunday’s women’s 7.5K sprint.

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“It’s still the Olympics, so they should have measured that before,” Nilsson said to the AP. “Five percent [deviation] is allowed but this felt like a 7K [for the women’s 7.5K].

“It was the right decision [that] they corrected it. Everybody is happy with that.”

Most courses along the World Cup circuit are inspected several days before competition, but with the IOC’s rules being different, organizers have had less time to make course tweaks.

In addition to the length extension, the starting line has also been moved back an additional 30 meters (98.4 feet).