Lesser, Dorin Habert win biathlon pursuit races at worlds

KONTIOLAHTI, Finland (AP) Erik Lesser of Germany used perfect shooting in tough conditions to win the 12.5-kilometer pursuit Sunday at the biathlon world championships.

The 27-year-old Lesser started fifth after Saturday’s sprint race but was the only one of 60 athletes who hit all 20 targets at the two prone and two standing shooting stations. He finished in 30 minutes, 47.9 seconds to beat silver medalist Anton Shipulin of Russia by 17 seconds.

”Everything went so well today, it was crazy,” Lesser said.

Shipulin passed Tarjei Boe toward the end to beat the Norwegian by 1.7 seconds. Both had one missed target.

Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway, who started first after winning the sprint, missed eight shots and finished 31st.

Eight-time Olympic champion Ole Einar Bjoerndalen started 19th but moved his way up the field to finish fifth, with two misses.

In the women’s 10K pursuit race, Maria Dorin Habert of France took her second gold medal in two days after protecting her lead from the sprint. She stayed in front throughout despite missing three shots, winning in 30:07.7.

Laura Dahlmeier of Germany was only about 20 seconds behind coming into the last shooting station but missed her fourth shot, missing the chance to take advantage of a miss seconds earlier by Dorin Habert. Dahlmeier took silver, 15.3 seconds behind.

Poland’s Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak, the sprint silver medalist, benefited from a fall by Ekaterina Shumilova of Russia near the end and took the bronze, 31.6 seconds behind.