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French biathlon champ Fourcade takes first win of new season

media French biathlete Martin Fourcade competing at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

Reigning biathlon World Cup champion Martin Fourcade took his first win of the new season on Sunday with a 12.5-kilometre pursuit.

Finishing 40 seconds ahead of Slovenia’s Jakov Fak, the 11-time world champ dominated to claim his first win of the new season.

The win in Ostersund, Sweden, is the 14th World Cup victory for Fourcade, tying him with Norwegian all-time champ Ole Einar Bjorndalen.

It also comes after the French biathlete failed to fare better than third place on Thursday and second in Saturday’s sprint.

“I knew if I didn’t win, it would be the first time in seven years,” Fourcade said. “Now I can concentrate on what’s to come with a bit less pressure, working on my longer-terms goals, which are a bit easier to attain after this win.”

Quentin Fillon-Maillet gave France another spot on the podium, crossing the finish line third, 1.3 seconds behind Fak.

France behind Germany in women's tournament

In the women’s tournament, France’s Justine Braisaz finished 25.8 seconds behind Germany’s Denise Herrman in Sunday’s 10km pursuit.

Herrman, a former Olympic bronze medallist in cross-country skiing, took her first solo World Cup win since making the switch to biathlon last year.

Third place went to Marte Olsbu of Norway.

Braisaz and Fourcade lead the women’s and men’s overall standings respectively.

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