Czech Republic wins women's World Cup biathlon relay

OBERHOF, Germany (AP) The Czech Republic won a women's biathlon World Cup relay on Wednesday, with host Germany finishing 10th.

Eva Puskarcikova, Gabriela Soukalova, Jitka Landova and Veronika Vitkova missed only seven targets and avoided any penalty rounds before winning the 4x6-kilometer race in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 56 seconds.

''I was not sure about my shape for the first race after Christmas. Early in the race I had a lot of energy, but on the last loop I was so tired. I just wanted to see the finish line,'' Soukalova said.

France was second, 8.9 seconds behind, with eight missed targets between Marine Bolliet, Marie Dorin Habert, Justine Braisaz and Anais Bescond.

The Belarus team led by three-time Olympic gold medalist Darya Domracheva was third, 1:06.8 behind. Nadzeya Pisareva had to complete one penalty round for Belarus.

Germany got off to a bad start when Luise Kummer missed three targets and had to undergo a penalty lap. The hosts finished 3:31.0 behind.

''All the excitement and expectation definitely played a role,'' the 21-year-old Kummer said, acknowledging the pressure.

The men's 4x7.5K relay is scheduled for Thursday.

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