Kuzmina finally earns first Biathlon World Champs title
Triple Olympic champion Anastasiya Kuzmina won her maiden world title by taking gold in the women's 7.5km sprint at the Biathlon World Championships at Oestersund.
Kuzmina has won just two World Cup events this season – and only one of those a sprint – but saved her best for the biggest stage in Sweden with a speedy final loop.
The Slovakian had incurred one shooting penalty on the prone stage but recovered enough on the skis in the final kilometres to overhaul Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold for gold in a time 22:17.5.
"I did not expect this with one mistake. I was always thinking that it would take two zeroes to win.
"I did it just like my first Olympic gold medal in Vancouver with one mistake. Today I had one and this is also my first World Championship gold medal. It is unbelievable."
Anastasiya Kuzmina (C) of Slovakia celebrates winning the gold medal ahead of Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (L) of Norway (silver medal) and Laura Dahlmeier (R) of Germany (bronze medal) during the flower ceremony following the IBU Biathlon World ChampionshiGetty Images
Tandrevold was in complete control heading into the last loop after shooting clean but the young Norwegian couldn't hold off the Slovakian veteran and had to settle for silver – 9.7 seconds behind.
Laura Dahlmeier of Germany and Sweden's Hanna Oeberg had an almighty battle for third, with Dahlmeier eventually prevailing to take bronze, 0.6 seconds ahead of the Scandinavian.