SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Martin Fourcade of France claimed his eighth biathlon World Cup victory of the season Saturday by winning the men's 10-kilometer sprint race on the Sochi Olympic course.
In the women's race, Polish veteran Magdalena Gwizdon edged Olympic champion Anastasiya Kuzmina to win the women's 7.5K sprint for her first victory in six years. Fourcade retained the overall World Cup title by winning the individual race on Thursday, and equalled his number of victories from last season with Saturday's triumph.
The Frenchman dominated the race from the start and clocked 25 minutes, 17.3 seconds to beat Russia's Yevgeny Ustyugov by 42.3 seconds. Henrik L'Abee-Lund of Norway shot cleanly but finished third, 51.0 seconds behind Fourcade for his first career individual World Cup podium finish.
"I'm in really good shape right now, and if I shoot cleanly it's difficult for my opponents to beat me," Fourcade said. "But one would be a fool to speak about any domination in the biathlon. Everything is possible in the sport. "Summing up the result of today's race, I must admit that I'm very happy to be at the top of the podium. It was my fifth straight podium finish."
Fourcade also clinched the sprint title with his second win and sixth podium finish in the discipline this season. He won the individual crown on Thursday and has a chance to claim all four discipline titles as he leads the pursuit and mass start standings as well.
"I'm most proud of holding the yellow bib from the first race to the last one," Fourcade said. "My goal now is to take all five crystal globes with me back to France." Gwizdon, who claimed her only previous World Cup victory by winning a sprint race in Ostersund, Sweden, in 2006, combined fast skiing and accurate shooting to clock 25:28.7 in tough conditions under a heavy snowfall at the Laura ski and biathlon centre.
Kuzmina missed one target to finish 10.2 seconds behind. Overall World Cup winner Tora Berger of Norway also missed a target and was 3.5 seconds behind Kuzmina for her 10th consecutive podium finish, and 18th of the season.
The podium finish was enough for Berger to secure her third discipline title this season. She has a chance to claim the full set of titles at the season-ending mass start race in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, on March 17.
Sunday's relay races will wrap up the test event, held 1,300 meters (4,300 feet) above sea level, for next year's Sochi Olympics.