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Anastazia Kuzmina wins biathlon sprint gold

Outsider Kuzmina takes biathlon sprint gold

Anastazia Kuzmina of Slovakia missed only one of 10 shots and covered the course in 19 minutes, 55.6 seconds to win gold in the 7.5 km biathlon sprint.

The event took place on a course that had to be sprinkled with fertiliser to harden up the snow, after days of rain and sleet in Whistler.

Magdalena Neuner of Germany took the silver, 1.5 sec behind Kuzmina.

And Marie Dorin of France won the bronze with a clean shoot that put her 10.9 sec off the lead.

"I'm just as surprised myself," said the mother of one.

"But I never looked back and I gave it everything. Three words explain my success - training, training, training."

With six world championship triumphs to her name Neuner had been heavily tipped to win but instead Kuzmina, who has only one 15km World Cup podium this season, produced a superb performance marred only by one penalty loop.

Neuner also missed one target whereas Dorin hit all ten.

"I am surprised - I gave it all I had," said Neuner. "My staying power was crumbling towards the finish and I made a mistake in the final shooting."

The gold was Slovakia's first at a Winter Games, as Kuzmina went one better than 2006 snowboard cross silver winner Radoslav Zidek.

"I never thought I'd manage a medal. I wasn't thinking of the result - just how I was going to race," said Dorin after getting the French off the mark in the medals table on day one of the Games.

"I felt like I was on holiday just being here these past few days. Then I said - hey wait, this is important."

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see also
Live - Winter Olympics day two
13 Feb 10 |  Live coverage

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