March 19, 2016

KHANTY-MANSIYSK, Russia (AP) Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic won the women's biathlon World Cup overall title for the first time Saturday as Finland's Kaisa Makarainen clinched the 10-kilometer pursuit race.

Soukalova and her only remaining championship rival, France's Marie Dorin Habert, fought for the lead for much of the race but both missed shots at their final trip to the shooting range before Makarainen charged ahead on the last skiing lap.

The Finn won in 30 minutes, 6.7 seconds but Soukalova's fourth place was enough for her to secure the overall title with one race of the season remaining.

Soukalova is the second Czech to win a biathlon World Cup overall title after Jirina Adamickova in 1990, and also ends the season top of the pursuit standings.

Dorin Habert was second, 1.5 seconds behind Makarainen, with Italy's Dorothea Wierer third, 5.7 seconds off the pace. It marked Makarainen's second win in three days after victory in Thursday's 7.5-kilometer sprint.

The men's 12.5-kilometer pursuit saw victory for Germany's Simon Schempp in 33:27.8, as he beat Norwegian Tarjei Thingnes Boe by 8.5 seconds.

Boe started with a one-minute disadvantage but shot well, missing only once, to briefly snatch the lead. However, Schempp produced unmatchable pace on the final skiing lap to overtake Boe for the win.

Erik Lesser of Germany finished third after he overtook clean-shooting Swiss rival Benjamin Weger on the last lap, finishing 15.7 seconds behind teammate Schempp.

France's Martin Fourcade was already confirmed as the World Cup champion and pursuit trophy winner. He opted to skip Saturday's race to prepare for the last event of the season, Sunday's mass start.

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