December 13, 2014

HOCHFILZEN, Austria (AP) Olympic champion Russia shot nearly flawlessly to win the first men's relay of the biathlon World Cup season on Saturday, while Germany took the women's race.

After the last exchange, Anton Shipulin shot cleanly twice to hold off challenges by France's Martin Fourcade and Norway's Tarjei Boe.

The Russian team of Maxim Tsvetkov, Timofey Lapshin, Dmitry Malyshko and Shipulin missed only 1 of the 40 targets and finished the 4x7.5-kilometer race in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 14.8 seconds.

France missed four times and came 20.2 seconds behind in second, while Norway dropped to third, 27.9 behind, after Boe had to reload twice in his final shooting.

Austria and Germany finished 30.5 and 31.4 behind, respectively, while Canada in sixth was already 2 minutes, 55.4 seconds off the lead.

Earlier, Luise Kummer, Franziska Hildebrand, Vanessa Hinz and Franziska Preuss missed eight targets for Germany but avoided the penalty loop before finishing the 4x6K women's race in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 40.4 seconds. It was Germany's first triumph in the discipline since winning in Annecy, France, a year ago.

Belarus needed two more reloads and came 21.1 seconds behind. The team, led by triple Olympic gold medalist Darya Domracheva, edged the Czech Republic by 1.1 second for second place.

Olympic relay champion Ukraine was seventh after 11 missed targets and one round on the 150-meter penalty loop by Juliya Dzhyma.

Two pursuit events conclude the meet in Austria on Sunday.

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