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Loch leads German sweep of luge World Cup event

Photo: Jens Meyer/AP

Felix Loch was fastest in both runs for an aggregate time of 1 minute, 27.257 seconds.

OBERHOF, Germany (AP) -- Olympic champion Felix Loch won his third World Cup race of the season to lead a German sweep of the podium and claim his first European Championship on Sunday.

Loch was fastest in both runs for an aggregate time of 1 minute, 27.257 seconds - 0.390 seconds quicker than Andi Langenhan, and 0.519 ahead of Johannes Ludwig.

Russia's Semen Pavlichenko was fourth, followed by Germany's David Moeller and another Russian, Albert Demchenko.

After six of nine races, Loch had 515 points in the World Cup standings, followed by Langenhan on 435 and Moeller on 398.

The race also counted as the European Championships, allowing the 23-year-old Loch to complete his medal collection.

"Now I could end my career," Loch said after his 13th career victory. "But of course that's rubbish, of course I'll go on. I like the track in Oberhof. It's where I celebrated my first World Championship title."

Later Sunday, Germany also won the team relay European Championship, when Natalie Geisenberger, Loch, Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken combined to finish 0.461 seconds faster than Italy, and 0.757 ahead of defending champion Russia.

The result did not count toward the World Cup standings.

Tora Berger wins biathlon World Cup to extend lead

RUHPOLDING, Germany (AP) -- Tora Berger of Norway and Martin Fourcade of France both won biathlon World Cup races Sunday to extend their leads in the overall standings.

Berger won her fifth of the season with just one miss in excellent conditions to win the women's 12.5-kilometer mass start race in 37 minutes, 14.4 seconds.

Darya Domracheva of Belarus was second, 26.7 seconds behind with two missed targets.

Olga Zaitseva had been leading but lost steam and missed one target in the final shoot to allow Berger and Domracheva to overtake. The Russian finished 37.8 back in third.

"I saw Zaitseva had one miss and that gave me more focus. I saw the possibility to win and just did my job," Berger said.

Rising star Miriam Goessner of Germany, who claimed victory in the 7.5-kilometer sprint on Friday, missed six targets before finishing eighth.

After 12 of 26 events, Berger has 574 points, 103 more than Goessner, while Domracheva is third on 443.

Later Sunday, Fourcade shot perfectly for the second time in two days to claim the men's 15K mass start in 36 minutes, 27.7 seconds.

Fourcade, who claimed the 10K sprint on Saturday and anchored France to victory in the relay on Thursday - when he also shot cleanly - extended his lead atop the overall standings after his 18th career win.

The Frenchman bided his time while taking his shots but skied at speed and finished half a second ahead of Dmitry Malyshko of Russia, who missed once.

"My tactic was to shoot 20 and ski as fast as possible," Fourcade said. "I used all of my strength to beat him today. I really wanted to win today, so I gave a bit more than usual."

Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen was third, 10.6 seconds back.

Fourcade has 564 points, ahead of Svendsen's 489 and Russia's Evgeny Ustyugov's 446. Malyshko is fourth.

Dutchman Sven Kramer wins Europe allround again

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (AP) -- Dutchman Sven Kramer wrapped up his sixth title at the European Allround Championships, cruising to victory in style on Sunday with a win in the 10,000 meter event.

Kramer, who at age 26 is also a five-time allround world champion, finished in 12 minutes, 55.98 seconds, ahead of countryman Jan Blokhuijsen in 13:01.60. Blokhuijsen was also second in the allround standings, followed by Norway's Havard Bokko.

Dutch dominance is set to continue among the women: the Netherlands' Ireen Wust, leading after Saturday's races, won the women's 1,500 meter race Sunday in 1 minute 56.49 seconds, followed by Dutchwoman Linda de Vries in 1:57.57. With only the 5,000 meter race remaining, Dutch women occupy the top four allround slots.

Russia's Zubkov wins 4-man bobsled

KOENIGSSEE, Germany (AP) -- World Cup champion Alexander Zubkov won his fifth World Cup four-man bobsled race of the season Sunday to close the gap on Maximilian Arndt in the standings.

The Russian and his crew of Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov, and Maxim Mokrousov, completed both runs in a total of 1 minute, 38.06 seconds - 0.2 seconds faster than Arndt and Marko Huebenbecker, Alexander Roediger and Martin Putze.

Germans Thomas Florschuetz and Manuel Machata, were third and fourth.

Arndt took advantage of Zubkov's absence from Altenberg last weekend by winning to seize the lead in the World Cup standings, but Zubkov has cut the gap to 14 points. With two races remaining, Arndt had 1,349 points, Zubkov had 1,335, and Machata was third with 1,266.

WCup leader Takanashi wins women's ski jump

HINTERZARTEN, Germany (AP) -- Sara Takanashi of Japan won her fourth women's ski jump event of the season to extend her lead in the World Cup standings on Sunday.

The 16-year-old Takanashi was third after a first jump of 98 meters but soared to 105 with her next to win with 247.5 points overall.

Defending overall World Cup champion Sarah Hendrickson of the United States, who won Saturday's event, was second after jumps of 103 and 101.5 meters for 245.9 points, while Austria's Jacqueline Seifriedsberger finished third with 244.5.

After eight of 16 events, Takanashi had 670 points, followed by Hendrickson on 501 and Coline Mattel of France with 448.

Austria's Daniela Iraschko did not compete Sunday after crashing heavily during Saturday's event.

Germany wins Nordic Combined team event

CHAUX-NEUVE, France (AP) -- Germans Tino Edelmann and Eric Frenzel won the team sprint at Chaux-Neuve as Nordic Combined World Cup leader Jason Lamy Chappuis helped France finish third.

Germany I crossed the line 1.4 seconds ahead of Norway I, composed of Magnus Moan and Joergen Graabak. Graabak and Chappuis had to be separated by a photo finish in a sprint at the finish.

Bernhard Gruber and Christoph Bieler of Austria finished sixth despite starting seven seconds ahead of Edelmann and Frenzel, and 50 ahead of Moan and Graabak after winning the ski jump.

Germany II was fourth, 3.9 seconds behind their winning compatriots, while Norway II was fifth. Edelmann won the individual event on Saturday.

Russia's men, Norway's women take team sprints

LIBEREC, Czech Republic (AP) -- Mikhail Jun Devjatiarov teamed with Nikolay Morilov to win a men's team sprint for Russia at a cross-country skiing World Cup event on Sunday.

The Russian pair finished the 6 by 1.6-kilometer freestyle race in 21 minutes, 43.8 seconds, beating Norway's Eirik Brandsdal and Paal Golberg by 0.8 seconds. Another Russian team of Alexey Petukhov and Nikita Kriukov was third with the same time.

Norway took the women's 6 by 0.85-kilometer freestyle race with Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg and Maiken Caspersen Falla winning in 11 minutes, 26.2 seconds to edge the Swedish pair of Stina Nilsson and Ida Ingemarsdotter by 0.6 seconds. A second Swedish team of Linn Soemskar and Magdalena Pajala was 5.7 seconds behind in third.

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