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Russia, Italy win biathlon World Cup relays in Austria

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HOCHFILZEN, Austria (AP) — Olympic champion Russia won a men's biathlon World Cup relay on Sunday, while Italy edged Germany in the women's event for its maiden victory.

Anton Shipulin overtook leader Emil Hegle Svendsen in the final kilometer and held off a late challenge by the Norwegian.

Russia, which also included Alexey Volkov, Evgeniy Garanichev and Dmitry Malyshko, missed six targets and finished the 4x7.5-kilometer competition in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 40.8 seconds.

The Norwegian team of Henrik L'Abee-Lund, Johannes Thingnes Boe, Tarjei Boe and Svendsen had to reload seven times in total and trailed Russia by 3.1 seconds.

Third-place France finished already 1:01.9 off the lead, while Austria came 1:10.9 behind in fourth despite 13 missed targets and two penalty loops.

Dorothea Wierer beat Germany's Franziska Preuss at the finish of the women's 4x6K relay, giving Italy its maiden win in the discipline.

The pair left the final shooting range simultaneously. Preuss went ahead but was overtaken in the closing meters by Wierer, who edged the German by 0.2 seconds.

Italy, which also included Lisa Vittozzi, Karin Oberhofer and Federica Sanfilippo, missed eight targets in total and finished in 1 hour, 5 minutes, 32.6 seconds.

The German team of Franziska Hildebrand, Maren Hammerschmidt, Vanessa Hinz and Preuss, had seven shooting mistakes.

Olympic relay champion Ukraine missed 10 times and came 13.1 seconds back in third.

The biathlon World Cup continues in Pokljuka, Slovenia next week.

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