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Soukalova wins pursuit to extend biathlon WC lead

January 12, 2014
Associated Press

RUHPOLDING, Germany (AP) — Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic won the women's pursuit at a biathlon World Cup on Sunday, while Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway also claimed his second successive victory by winning the men's race.

Soukalova shot cleanly and completed the 10-kilometer course in 30 minutes, 39.8 seconds, beating Tora Berger of Norway by 9.7 seconds to extend her lead in the overall standings with her third win of the season.

"I was hoping to be in the top five," Soukalova said. "It was stressful. In the third loop, I was getting tired and tried to think about the chance to get a clean shooting. That was my one tactic."

Berger, the defending champion, missed one target.

"I think I am starting to get back to my old plan and shooting better," said Berger, who has endured a difficult season so far.

Kaisa Makarainen of Finland was third, 38.9 seconds off the pace after missing three targets, followed by Franziska Preuss of Germany and Veronika Vitkova of the Czech Republic. Both missed one target.

Soukalova, who also won Friday's individual race, leads the women's standings after 11 of 22 events with 426 points, 46 ahead of Makarainen and 51 ahead of Berger.

Svendsen shot cleanly and completed the men's 12.5-kilometer course in 32 minutes, 38.2 seconds for his 35th career victory.

Svendsen, who won the individual race on Saturday, finished comfortably, exactly 18 seconds ahead of Jakov Fak of Slovenia, who also shot cleanly, and 21.4 seconds ahead of Russia's Evgeniy Garanichev, who missed one target.

Simon Eder of Austria shot cleanly in fourth, followed by Simon Fourcade of France with one missed target, and Norway's Tarjei Boe with no mistakes.

World Cup leader and defending champion Martin Fourcade skipped the meet to prepare for the Winter Games in Sochi.

Fourcade leads with 462 points, followed by Svendsen on 413 and Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe on 315.

 
 

 

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