Russia kicks off biathlon season with mixed relay win

Yevgeny Ustyugov at the shooting range before the mixed relay race during Round 1 of the 2012–13 Biathlon World Cup in Ostersund, Sweden (RIA Novosti / Evgeniy Tumashov)
The Russian mixed biathlon team has won the first relay race of the season. They convincingly beat their main rivals, Team Norway, in the Swedish city Oestersund.

The Russian team, made up of Olga Zaytseva, Olga Vilukhina, Aleksey Volkov and Evgeny Ustyugov, covered the 27-kilometer distance in 1 hour 12 minutes and 41.3 seconds using just six extra shots and making no misses en route to the win.

On the final leg, 2010 Olympic champion Evgeny Ustyugov kept his cool against surging Norwegian Emil Hegle Svendsen as Russia left Team Norway 21.4 seconds behind.

Quite surprisingly, the Czech Republic finished third, 36.4 seconds off the pace, leaving Germany without a medal.

The first individual race of the World Cup campaign, the men's 20km, is scheduled for Wednesday in Oestersund.

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