Sunday Feb. 9, 2014 11:03 ET

Anastasiya Kuzima strikes gold in women's 7.5K biathlon

Russia wins silver, earning country's first medal of Sochi Olympics

Biathlon medalists 7.5K sprint
Bronze medalist Vita Semerenko of Ukraine, gold medalist Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia and silver medalist Olga Vilukhina of Russia after the women's 7.5K sprint. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Anastasiya Kuzmina has taken gold in the women's 7.5K sprint biathlon.

The Russian-born biathlete who represents Slovakia was dominant on Sunday, winning her race with a time of 21:06.8 and no penalties. 

"This victory in my homeland is a big thing. I am Russian after all, although I am Slovakian passport holder, this is my home," says Kuzmina. 

"Today was just an amazing day for me. Vancouver was my first gold medal and there were a lot of new emotions involved. Those ones here are my second Olympics and I can say, it was a long way to get here."

Kuzmina says the sprint is her favourite race, but she didn't expect to do well in the 7.5K in Sochi. 

"I thought I would succeed in the 15K at the Olympics. I didn't plan on doing so well in sprint."

Olga Vilukhina of Russia took the silver medal with a time of 21:26.7, while Ukraine's Vita Semerenko landed the bronze medal at a time of 21:28.5.

Canadians well back in race 

It was a difficult race for the Canadian contingent in the 7.5K sprint. Rosanna Crawford was the highest ranked Canadian, coming in 25th place with a time of 22:10.8 and one penalty. 

Megan Imrie finished in 31st place, while Zina Kocher, expected to be competitive on Sunday, finished in 32nd place with a time of 22:25.5 and two penalties.

Megan Heinicke finished 59th.

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