The Associated Press - Sunday Jan. 5, 2014 09:18 ET

Martin Fourcade, Tora Berger win biathlon World Cup mass starts

Defending champs pick up wins in Germany

World Cup leader and winner Martin Fourcade of France shoots during the warm up at the men's 15 km mass start competition at the Biathlon World Cup in Oberhof, Germany, on Sunday. (Jens Meyer/Associated Press)

Defending overall champion Martin Fourcade won the men's biathlon mass start to extend his lead in the World Cup standings on Sunday in Oberhof, Germany, while Norway's Tora Berger won the women's race.

Fourcade missed only one target as he completed the 15-kilometre race in 37 minutes, 39.4 seconds, beating Alexey Volkov of Russia, who shot cleanly, by 5.2 seconds.

"This was the only World Cup venue where I had never won before, so I am quite happy," the 25-year-old Fourcade said after his fourth win of the season.

The Frenchman leads the standings by 462 points, 169 ahead of Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen, who finished 11th.

Tarjei Boe of Norway was third, exactly 19 seconds behind with two missed targets.

Germany's Andreas Birnbacher was fourth, followed by Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic and Dominik Landertinger of Austria.

Berger defeated Norwegian teammate Synnoeve Solemdal by 17.5 seconds to win the women's 12.5-kilometre race in 37:59.0 for her first victory of the season.

Berger, the defending overall champion, missed just one target while Solemdal shot cleanly to finish ahead of Darya Domracheva of Belarus by 0.3 seconds. Domracheva, who claimed the sprint and pursuit races on Friday and Saturday, had two missed targets.

Local favourite Andrea Henkel claimed fourth in her last home race before retirement. The 36-year-old Henkel, a two-time Olympic gold medallist , missed just one target and finished 39.9 seconds off the pace.

The Czech Republic's Gabriela Soukalova finished 13th and leads the overall standings by two points from Valj Semerenko of Ukraine, who placed 15th.

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