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France’s Fourcade wins men’s biathlon sprint

December 6, 2014

OSTERSUND, Sweden (AP) — Martin Fourcade of France recovered from a poor showing earlier this week by shooting clean to win the men’s 10-kilometer sprint on the biathlon World Cup on Saturday, while Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff won the women’s 7.5K sprint.

Fourcade, a double Olympic champion in Sochi, finished 81st in the men’s 20K individual race on Wednesday but led from the start in the sprint. His advantage continued to grow until he crossed the finish line in 24 minutes, 46.6 seconds, 28.3 seconds ahead of Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic. Jakov Fak of Slovenia was another 0.4 seconds back in third.

Moravec and Fak also shot clean but couldn’t match Fourcade’s speed.

In the women’s event, Eckhoff claimed her first World Cup victory with a single penalty. She covered the distance in 21:35.5, comfortably ahead of clean-shooting Veronika Vitkova of the Czech Republic who was 4.6 seconds behind. Kaisa Makarainen of Finland was third, 7.6 seconds back with two penalties.

Dorothea Wierer of Italy was fourth, ahead of Olympic champion Darya Domracheva of Belarus in fifth. Domracheva had taken an early lead but Eckhoff was stronger over the last kilometer to claim the win.

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