Biathlon

The Associated Press - Saturday Dec. 14, 2013 11:40 ET

Canadian biathlete Nathan Smith qualifies for Sochi Olympics

Boe, Gasparin win latest World Cup races

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Johannes Boe heads towards the finish line for Norway in Saturday's race. (Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images)

Junior world champion Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway won the men's 10-kilometre sprint at a biathlon World Cup on Saturday for his first career win.   

The 20-year-old Boe shot clean in the competition at Annecy, France to finish in 22 minutes, 6.7 seconds, putting him 32.9 ahead of Ondrej Moravec of Czech Republic, who also shot clean. Frenchman Martin Fourcade had one penalty and finished 37.1 back in third place.   

Dmitry Malyshko of Russia was fourth ahead of Simon Schempp of Germany as both shot clean.   

Calgary's Nathan Smith was 16th for Canada in a time of 23:15.01, a result that guarantees him a spot at the Sochi Olympics.

"Today was the best ski time I've had yet at World Cup level, and a solid 9/10 in shooting," the 28-year-old said in a press release. "Unfortunately my shooting speed was a lot slower than normal. I really had to slow things down and fight for every shot. Thankfully my skiing made up for this so in the end it was still an excellent result that I'm very happy about."

Scott Perras of Regina crossed in 31st, while Jean-Philippe Le Guellec of Shannan, Que., was 49th.

In the women's 7.5K sprint, Switzerland's Selina Gasparin won for the second time in her career in 20:51.4. 

Finland's Kaisa Makarainen finished second, 8.3 seconds behind for her first podium of the season, with Valj Semerenko of Ukraine 11.5 seconds back in third spot.

Rosanna Crawford of Canmore, Alta., was top Canadian in 26th place. Megan Imrie of Falcon Lake, Man., finished 40th, with Zina Kocher of Red Deer, Alta., 45th and Megan Heinicke of Squamish, B.C., 50th.

– With files from CBCSports.ca

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