Rest of British: Who else can lead the world a dance at the Winter Games?: Michael Dixon - Biathlon

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BEING in the army, Michael Dixon has the typical background of a biathlete aside, of course, from the fact that he was not born in mainland Europe. Despite that disadvantage, he has shown up exceptionally well in a sport traditionally dominated by east Europeans. He finished a British best 13th and then 12th in the 20km event at the past two Olympics, closing to within only 3.07 per cent of the winner two years ago. A top 10 finish beckons.

His performances were remarkable for a man who had switched to the sport only in 1986, adding the shooting element to the cross-country skiing with which he made his Olympic debut in Sarajevo 10 years ago. The Scot, whose home is in Aviemore, has spearheaded Britain's emergence as the best 'lowlander' country. The national squad have developed strength in depth despite the shortage of finance and facilities.

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