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France’s Fourcade defends 12.5km pursuit biathlon world title

France’s Fourcade defends 12.5km pursuit biathlon world title
By Sportsbeat

12/02/2017 at 19:06

France’s Martin Fourcade defended his men’s 12.5k pursuit title at the biathlon World Championship in dramatic style.

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The 11-time world champion took gold despite a penalty on his last trip to the range with Norway’s Johannes Thingnes taking silver ahead of 43-year old team-mate Ole Einar Björndalen.

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Forced admitted relief with his win, which will make headlines for the right reasons, following his high-profile handshake snub of Russian rivals after the mixed relay team event.

"This is my race, there is nothing like crossing the line in the first position,” said the two-time Olympic champion, who crossed the line waving the French flag.

Video - Highlights: Fourcade wins men's pursuit world title, flies French flag over finish line

02:30

"I take so much pleasure from this. It's one of those days where you can just thank your parents who bought you your first pair of skies when you were nine years old."

Bjoerndalen admitted pride in his 45th world medal with this podium in Hochfilzen coming 20 years after his first, a bronze in the same event at the 1997 championship in Brezno-Osrblie.

He said: "I am really happy. It’s like a victory for me. It’s the first podium for me this year."

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