Ukraine wins women's biathlon relay season opener

Dec. 7, 2013 at 11:57 AM

HOCHFILZEN, Austria, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A team from Ukraine won Saturday's season opener for the biathlon World Cup in Austria.

The team of Juliya Dzhyma, Olena Pidhrushna and sisters Vita and Valj Semerenko finished the course 1 minute, 4 seconds ahead of Germany, whose team narrowly squeaked past third-place France.

Ukraine bolted into the lead in the final two stages of the relay after Germany's Franziska Hildebrand missed three shots and had to take a penalty loop. The German woman had taken the lead from faltering Belarus earlier Saturday, Russia's R-Sport said.

Saturday's race was one of only four women's relay stages this season. The next one takes place next week in France.

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