Biathlon World Cup season ends as two final races cancelled

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 8:39 p.m. ET

KHANTY-MANSIYSK, Russia (AP) The biathlon World Cup season came to an abrupt end Sunday as the two final mass start races were cancelled after strong winds damaged the course.

Gale-force winds in the Siberian town of Khanty-Mansiysk tore down banners and even brought down a lighting tower at the shooting range. No one was hurt, the International Biathlon Union said.

Following an initial attempt to hold the races later in the day, the event was called off altogether, with athletes and spectators asked to leave the venue for safety reasons.

Race director Borut Nunar said ''it's completely unsafe outside, all competitions are cancelled.''

The cancellation of the 15-kilometer men's race and 12.5k women's race means that France's Martin Fourcade and Czech Gabriela Soukalova end the season top of the mass start standings.