March 06, 2016

OSLO, Norway (AP) Martin Fourcade of France took his third biathlon worlds title Sunday, winning the 12.5-kilometer pursuit in 32 minutes, 56.5 seconds.

The Frenchman had already won the mixed relay and the sprint titles.

In the women's 10-kilometer pursuit, Laura Dahlmeier of Germany had perfect shooting for her first world title in an individual event and Germany's first victory in the current championships.

Fourcade, 27, who was perfect at the first two prone shooting stations, was then forced into three penalty loops after missing once in the first standing stop, and twice on the last station. His winning margin over Norway veteran Ole Einar Bjorndalen, 42, was 20.1 seconds.

In a duel between two other Norwegians, Emil Hegle Svendsen passed Johannes Thingnes Bo in the closing stages to take the third podium position, 31.2 seconds behind the winner.

It is Fourcade's ninth pursuit title at the worlds, giving him one more than retired French great Raphael Poiree, who won eight times.

Fourcade, a double Olympic champion, underlined his domination by clinching the World Cup overall title for the fifth time in succession. The Frenchman now has 46 individual World Cup victories.

Bjorndalen made a mistake early, and fell 52 seconds behind, but shooting clean on the next two stations put him in the medal picture again.

''Today I got out my maximum. I had to be offensive thinking of all them who were coming behind. I did not know that Fourcade missed twice on the last station, but I could hardly have done better. I could have had my own miss on the last station then as well,'' Bjorndalen said.

The 22-year-old Dahlmeier was in a class of her own, finishing 48.3 seconds ahead of Italy's Dorothea Wierer, who reached the podium for the first time at the worlds.

''It was the perfect race ... The last lap was amazing as I had time to look around and pick up a German flag,'' Dahlmeier said.

Marie Dorin Habert of France, starting second, led before two penalty rounds on the first standing station. She beat Germany's Franziska Hildebrand in a fight for the bronze, finishing 57.3 seconds behind Dahlmeier and taking her third medal in as many starts.

The Saturday sprint winner Tiril Eckhoff of Norway took four penalties on the last shooting station, seven in all, and went from first to 17th.

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