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Norway's Svendsen wins biathlon World Cup pursuit

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The Canadian Press
1/4/2014 11:13:18 AM
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OBERHOF, Germany -- Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway won the men's pursuit at a biathlon World Cup for his second win in two days, taking advantage of Ole Einar Bjoerndalen's mistakes at the final shooting station on Saturday.

Svendsen missed only one target and completed the 12.5-kilometre race in 34 minutes 47.7 seconds, beating his compatriot Bjoerndalen by 35.6 seconds.

The 39-year-old Bjoerndalen -- a six-time Olympic champion and the sport's all-time great -- led going into the final shoot but two missed targets. That allowed Svendsen, who beat his teammate by 0.4 seconds in Friday's sprint, to claim his 33rd career World Cup win.

"I did not come here thinking that I could win two times," Svendsen said.

Overall World Cup leader Martin Fourcade of France was third, exactly 1 minute behind after missing three targets.

"I had to be really perfect to beat Emil today and I was not. I thought I could beat Ole, but had some problems with my skis on the last lap and could not do it," said Fourcade, who maintained a comfortable lead in the standings. Svendsen was 139 points behind after eight events.

Calgary native Macx Davies was 54th on Saturday.

Also, Darya Domracheva of Belarus won the women's 10K pursuit, finishing in 33 minutes, 35.8 seconds to beat Finland's Kaisa Makarainen for the second time in as many days.

Friday's sprint winner, Domracheva, started with a comfortable lead of 29.8 seconds over her rival, though Makarainen fought back to claim first position in the third shoot, only to miss two targets and let Domracheva pull away and claim her second victory of the season, by 34.6 seconds. Both missed three targets altogether.

Norway's Synnoeve Solemdal was third with two missed targets, 1 minute, 19.1 seconds behind Makarainen, while Tora Berger of Norway was fourth, also with two missed targets.

Valj Semerenko's ninth-place finish was enough for the Ukrainian to join Czech skier Gabriela Soukalova atop the standings on 278 points after eight events.

Soukalova was 26th after Friday's sprint but managed to claw her way back to 12th.

Local favourite Andrea Henkel made up 21 places after a disappointing sprint to finish her last home pursuit in 16th. Henkel, a two-time Olympic gold medallist , is retiring at the end of the season.

Claude Godbout of Valcartier, Que., was 55th.

Men's and women's mass start races are scheduled for Sunday.

Emil Hegle Svendsen (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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