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Kuzmina back on top with Nove Mesto triumph

Kuzmina back on top with Nove Mesto triumph
By Sportsbeat

23/12/2018 at 16:05Updated 23/12/2018 at 16:35

Reigning Olympic champion Anastasiya Kuzmina led a Slovakian one-two to claim her first biathlon World Cup win of the season in the 12.5km mass start in Nove Mesto.

Kuzmina won six World Cup races last season – having previously suffered a gold drought since March 2014 – and finally climbed the top step of the podium this term at the eighth time of asking in the Czech Republic.

She incurred two shooting penalties but skied strongly to cross the line first in 35:34.4 minutes, 12.1 seconds ahead of compatriot Paulina Fialkova.

The silver medal was Fialkova's fourth podium finish of the season, although she is yet to taste victory.

She outsprinted France's Anais Chevalier, who suffered three shooting penalties, in a sprint for second, with overall World Cup leader Dorothea Wierer finishing fourth.

The Italian still has the yellow bib, however, with a healthy 36-point lead over Fialkova and another Italian, Lisa Vittozzi, currently in third.