Winter sports news - Masterful Kaisa Makarainen bounces back in style
Kaisa Makarainen produced a masterful performance to take the 23rd biathlon World Cup win of her career by comfortably triumphing in the women's 7.5km sprint in Pokljuka.
Makarainen shot clean and was dominant on the skis to cross the line in 20:08.1 minutes in Slovenia – 14.8 seconds ahead of Italy's Dorothea Wierer.
Justine Braisaz took third place, finishing 42 seconds behind the winner, while her compatriot Julia Simon produced a career-best performance to come fourth.
Makarainen bounced back from a disappointing 30th in the season-opening 15km individual race on Thursday and the Finn admitted she enjoyed herself in Pokljuka.
"I was not thinking about anything, just shooting like I do normally in training," she explained. "It gives you a lot more energy when you shoot clean; you do not have to go to the penalty loop.
"I know if I shoot clean that I can fight for the top positions. I still had to work hard and had a good last loop.
"It was fun but I was not trying to think about what result I would get. I tried to focus on what I was doing – go loop by loop and not to think too far ahead – I enjoyed it.
"I'm not such a good shooter so I know that anything can happen."
Wierer's second place means that she tops the early-season overall rankings and will wear the yellow bib for the first time in her career during the 10km pursuit in the same venue on Sunday.