Biathlon - Makarainen beats out Neuner

Kaisa Makarainen handed herself the perfect birthday present as the Finn stormed to World Cup 15km individual success in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.

Biathlon - Makarainen beats out Neuner

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On the day the 10km pursuit world champion turned 29, she gave the rest of the field a clear message that she isn’t going to let go of her World Cup crown without a fight by picking up her first victory of the season, and her first ever 15km win in the process.

Makarainen endured two penalties on her way to crossing the finishing line in 45:03.3 minutes, 22 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Helena Ekholm with Magdalena Neuner from Germany finishing third.

Ekholm had been set to claim victory, but missed her last shot to earn a penalty of one minute that cost her dearly.

This was Neuner’s eighth podium finish in 10 World Cup races this campaign and her third place was enough to keep her top of the overall pile on 504 points.

Belarus’ Darya Domracheva could only manage fifth but stays second overall, 47 points behind Neuner, while Makarainen’s first victory of the season propelled her into third overall, sitting on 433 points.

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s sole representative Amanda Lightfoot picked up just two time penalties on her way to finishing 63rd in a time of 52:56.9 minutes.

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