Biathlon - Russia claim maiden biathlon mixed relay victory

Russia kicked off the new biathlon mixed relay World Cup season in style as they claimed an opening victory in Oesterund, Sweden.

Biathlon - Russia claim maiden biathlon mixed relay victory

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Russia's Olga Zaitseva (front) celebrates as the Russian team (blue) make their way to the podium after winning the Mixed Relay event at the Biathlon World Cup in Ostersund, Sweden (Reuters)

The quartet of Olga Zaitseva, Olga Vilukhina, Alexey Volkov and Evgeny Ustyugov posted a total time of 1:12.41.3 for the win, 21.2 seconds ahead of Norway, with Czech Republic finishing third.

Almost from the outset this event looked to be a three-horse race between Russia, France and Norway, with the latter holding a 10.5 seconds lead at the first change over thanks to some perfect shooting from Tora Berger.

But by the second change over Russia had the lead and this was only stretched further by Volkov before Ustyugov brought the team home.

France could not withstand the pace and finished fifth, one place behind Germany, as Norway and the Czechs completed the podium in Sweden.

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