Biathlon - Berger and Birnbacher take World Cup wins

Norway's Tora Berger's shooting proved the difference as she took victory at the women's biathlon World Cup 12.5km mass start event in Pokljuka.

Biathlon - Berger and Birnbacher take World Cup wins

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Tora Berger (AFP)

Berger had just a pair of penalties from an impressive shooting performance to top the pile ahead in a time of 35.53.8 minutes ahead of Germany's Miriam Gossner 35 seconds back and Gabriella Soukalova of the Czech Republic in third, over a minute adrift of Berger.

It was neck and neck early on after the prone shooting stages however the Norwegian Olympic gold medallist wrestled the initiative in the standing shoot, going clean on both occasions to race away for a comfortable win.

Victory for Berger saw her extend her lead at the top of the overall World Cup standings, sitting in top spot with 388 points ahead of Soukalova (305) and Gossner (286).

Meanwhile in the men's 15km mass start event it was a similar tale of shooting prowess delivering the World Cup victory, this time for Germany's Andreas Birnbacher.

Birnbacher shot clean in Slovenia and reaped the benefit to win by over 17 seconds from home favourite Jakov Fak in second and America's Tim Burke in third.

The win puts the German third in the overall standings with 392 points behind Martin Fourcade (392) fourth on the day and Emil Hegle Svendsen, sixth in Pokljuka, with 307.

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