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Swedish Woman Wins 5th Straight World Cup Biathlon Race - 2001-12-21

Reigning world champion Magdalena Forsberg of Sweden has won her fifth straight World Cup biathlon race of the season, a women's 15-kilometer individual event in (Brezno-Osrblie) Slovakia.

The 34-year-old Swede finished the course with one miss in the shooting portion in 49 minutes, 46.9 seconds. Ukraine's Olena Zubrilova was second nearly three minutes back with four missed targets. Katja Holanti of Finland was third, 3 minutes, 3 seconds behind Forsberg.

Shooting was difficult on the wind-blown course, and athletes had to contend with heavy snowfall and poor visibility.

Forsberg remains atop the overall standings with 250 points after five events. Andrea Henkel of Germany is in second place (188 points) with Zubrilova third, 76 points behind Forsberg. The competition continues Friday with men's and women's sprint races.

Biathlon combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting from a variety of positions. A miss in the shooting portion adds penalty laps to a skier's time on the cross country course.