March 06, 2012

RUHPOLDING, Germany (AP) -- Jakov Fak, who almost lost his trigger finger to frostbite last season, won the individual event Tuesday to give Slovenia's its first gold medal in the history of the biathlon world championships.

He overtook silver medalist Simon Fourcade of France on the final lap. Jaroslav Soukup of the Czech Republic won the bronze.

Fak previously raced for Croatia, switching allegiances ahead of the 2010-11 season. Fourcade's younger brother, Martin, missed five targets, dashing his hopes of adding the individual to his pursuit and sprint titles.

In the final shooting round, Fak and Fourcade missed once . Fak completed the 20-kilometer course in 46 minutes, 48.2 seconds, gaining 11.8 seconds on Fourcade in the final 900 meters to beat the Frenchman by seven seconds. Soukup was 12.3 seconds behind.

Tarjei Boe, the defending champion, missed his first two shots before adjusting to a wind change. The Norwegian finished in 18th place, more than two minutes back.

For host Germany, Andreas Birnbacher missed his final shot and Arnd Peiffer missed two in his final round. Birnbacher missed out on the bronze by eight-tenths of a second. Peiffer finished seventh after his two one-minute penalties.

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