Norway, Ukraine win biathlon World Cup relays

The Associated Press

HOCHFILZEN, Austria (AP) -- Norway overtook Russia in the final leg to win the first men's biathlon World Cup relay of the Olympic season on Saturday, while Ukraine cruised in the women's event.

Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen had to reload just once while Dmitry Malyshenko missed four targets for Russia, which dropped behind Sweden.

Norway's team, which included Vetle Sjastad Christiansen, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Tarjei Boe, won the 4x7.5-kilometer race in 1 hour, 19 minutes, 50.8 seconds. Norway beat Sweden by 19.3 seconds and Russia by 21.1.

Home nation Austria was 45.3 back in fourth, while the French team, including World Cup leader Martin Fourcade, had to complete two penalty loops and finished fifth, 58.3 off the lead.

In the women's event, the team of Juliya Dzhyma, Vita Semerenko, Valj Semerenko and Olena Pidhrushna missed just three targets and avoided penalty loops before finishing the 4x6K race in 1 hour, 13 minutes, 9.2 seconds.

Pidrushna carried a Ukrainian flag for the last part of her race.

Germany missed seven times and had to complete an extra round but still finished second, 56.3 seconds back. France was another 4.5 seconds behind in third.

Russia trailed Ukraine by 19.5 seconds at the final exchange, but Olga Zaitseva missed three targets and had to ski a penalty round as the team dropped to fourth.

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