Italy end long wait for biathlon relay

Italy end long wait for biathlon relay
By Eurosport

06/01/2012 at 03:46Updated 06/01/2012 at 17:43

Italy came from behind to snatch victory from Russia in the IBU Biathlon World Cup men’s 4x7.5km relay event in Oberhof, Germany to end a long wait for a relay win.

It was Italy's first victory in a men's relay since 1993.

For most of the race it looked as though the Russian team of Anton Shipulin, Evgeniy Garanichev, Evgeny Ustyugov and Alexey Volkov would easily collect the win as they led from the first leg.

But despite taking over with a 43.6 second lead from Italy in the final leg, Volkov picked up three penalties with the rifle as the Russian team slipped to second.

There was no such trouble for Lukas Hofer however for Italy as he incurred just one penalty to win the gold by 6.1 seconds, with Sweden collecting bronze.

Italy improved dramatically from their first World Cup relay finish of 12th and move up to fourth overall, just two points behind Sweden in third.

Despite missing out on victory Russia leapfrog Norway, who could only manage fifth in Germany, into first place and lead the World Cup on 108 points, eight ahead of the Norwegians.