Eurosport - Thu, 25 Mar 16:45:00 2010
Simone Hauswald finally lifted her first biathlon crystal globe after the penultimate race of her career in the 7.5km sprint at Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
The 30-year old, set to retire at the end of the season, went into the race with the red jersey of World Cup sprint leader having scooped the sprint, pursuit and mass start treble in Oslo last week.
And although the German couldn't manage a fourth consecutive win in Russia, her time of 21:15.6 minutes which was good enough for fourth place and the sprint title.
Russia's Iana Romanova eventually struck gold in front of her home crowd with a time of 20:59.3 minutes, with France's Marie-Laure Brunet second and Helena Jonsson returning to the podium for the first time since January 16 in third.
But Hauswald only had to finish ahead of compatriot and double Olympic champion Magdalena Neuner to clinch the title and after her teammate crossed in 21:23.2, Hauswald knew the crystal globe was hers.
Neuner's finish of eighth also kept the race to the overall World Cup title alive with Hauswald closing the gap to 33 ahead of the final race of the season in Saturday's 12.5km mass start.
The men's sprint crystal globe will be decided on Friday with Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen 36 points clear of Russia's Ivan Tcherezov.