France’s Fourcade, Norway’s Solemdal win biathlon World Cup pursuits

Defending overall champion Martin Fourcade of France took the men’s biathlon World Cup pursuit Sunday for his third win of the Olympic season, while Synnoeve Solemdal of Norway won the women’s event in a repeat of her maiden victory here last year.

Fourcade, who was beaten by Lars Berger of Norway in Friday’s sprint, missed one target before finishing the 12.5-kilometer race in 32 minutes, 43.3 seconds for his 27th career win.

Emil Hegle Svendsen also missed once and came 7.7 seconds behind in second. Fellow Norwegian Tarjei Boe placed third, 17.6 off the lead.

Fourcade now leads Svendsen 234-143 points in the overall standings. Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia is third with 133 points.

Solemdal missed one target in the first round but shot flawlessly after that before finishing the 10K women’s race in 30 minutes, 16.2 seconds. Juliya Dzhyma of Ukraine hit all targets and came 11.5 seconds behind in second.

"Winning again after last year, I can’t believe it", Solemdal said. "On the last loop I was so afraid that the Ukrainian girl would overtake me but it was enough."

Krystyna Palka of Poland took third, trailing Solemdal by 15.1. Defending overall champion Tora Berger of Norway had three mistakes in her second shooting round and finished 1:30.2 off the lead in 18th.

Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic, who finished ninth, remained in the overall lead with 148 points. Solemdal is second with 145, ahead of Russian pair Olga Zaitseva and Irina Starykh with 143 and 142 respectively.

The biathlon World Cup continues in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France, next week.