Franziska Preuss held her nerve on the final leg to overhaul surprise package Belarus and earn Germany an biathlon World Cup women's relay gold in Oberhof.

The Belarus team led going into the final leg after a fine performance by Hanna Sola, but Preuss was flawless in her shooting and took advantage of one miss by Elena Kruchinkina to ease home by 17.4 seconds.

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The Germans missed just five targets in total, with Vanessa Hinz, Janina Hettich and Denise Hermann combining with Preuss for a first women's relay win since 2019.

The only other team to shoot as cleanly were overall leaders Sweden, who came home in third. Of the other pre-race contenders, France looked well-set to take at least a podium spot as Justine Braisaz-Bouchet led going into her final shoot on the third leg, but she collapsed and was forced to do two penalty loops, as they finished fifth overall.

And Norway were miles off the pace after Ingrid Tandrevold's disastrous opening leg, and despite the presence of individual top two Tiril Eckhoff and Marte Olsbu Roieseland, they could only manage seventh place, some three minutes back.

The competition continues in Antholz-Anterselva next week, with Sweden now 96 points clear of Norway in the relay standings and France a further nine points back. Sportsbeat 2021

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