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Norway Sweeps 12.5 km Pursuit at Biathlon World Cup Event - 2004-01-18

Five-time Olympic champion Ole Einar Bjorndalen led a Norwegian sweep of the 12.5-kilometer pursuit at the biathlon world cup event in Ruhpolding, Germany.

Bjorndalen won for the fifth time this season and 32nd time in his career Sunday, as he reached the finish line in 37 minutes and 54.2 seconds. That was almost nine seconds ahead of Lars Berger and more than 22 in front of Halvard Hanevold.

Liv Grete Poiree also easily won the women's 10-kilometer pursuit as Norwegians dominated the World Cup weekend. Poiree completed the event in 33 minutes and 18.7 seconds beating Russia's Svetlana Ichmuratova more than one minute and 40 seconds. Olga Pyleva, also of Russia, was a distant third.

Bjorndalen grabbed the lead in the men's overall standings with 414 points, followed by Hanevold with 372 and 367 for Raphael Poiree, husband of the woman's winner. Liv Grete Poiree extended her lead in the overall women's standing to 53 points. She has 457, followed by France's Sandrine Bailly at 404 and Pyleva with 390.