Fourcade close to title after sprint victory
Fri, 16 Mar 14:24:00 2012
Martin Fourcade moved a step closer to the Crystal Globe as World Cup biathlon champion with victory in the 10km sprint in Khanty-Mansiysk.
The Frenchman, who won three golds at last week's World Championship, shot clear to record his seventh victory of the season in Siberia.
The 23-year-old posted a time of 26:40.2 with his third consecutive sprint victory also ensuring the Crystal Globe for the discipline.
His time was 5.3 seconds quicker than Germany's 2011 World Championship sprint champion Arnd Peiffer who, as he did in Ruhpolding last week on two occasions, missed his final shot at the range to cost him the chance of victory.
Sweden's Fredrik Lindstrom shot clear to take third, a further 1.4 seconds back.
Fourcade's nearest challenger for the title Emil Hegle Svendsen missed a target in the standing shoot and the Norwegian's chances of regaining the World Cup title he claimed two seasons ago now look slim.
His fifth position saw him drop 86 points behind Fourcade with just two races left of the season and the Frenchman can seal the title with a seventh placed finish in Saturday's pursuit.