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Denise Herrmann and teammate Vanessa Voigt, who shot cleanly and placed sixth, were all smiles at the finish line. Photo: IBU/Manzoni.


Denise Herrmann's first World Cup win of the season, Eder in front of the home crowd in his twenties

Germany's Denise Herrmann was smiling like the sun after winning the speed race with a five-second margin over Norway's Tiril Eckhoff. Sweden's Stina Nilsson took her first podium finish in the World Cup as a biathlon skier. The home crowd got to enjoy the fine performances of the Finns, as Mari Eder was ninth and Suvi Minkkinen 25th.

From the top three, each cleared the layup cleanly, but from the vertical, each shot one past. For Denise Herrmann, who won the Olympic gold, first place was the first of the season in the World Cup.

– It was nice to come back to Finland. The conditions today were perfect, and I had great skis, Herrmann recalled with a smile.

– You had to concentrate when you got to the shooting location. The shooting location here in Kontiolahti is not the easiest in the world, but it (shooting) went well.

Stina Nilsson was part of the Swedish Olympic team, but she never got to compete in China. The top success in Kontiolahti confused the Swede.

– This feels unreal! My body has been feeling really good for the last few days, but I didn't expect to be on the podium today, Nilsson said.

Eder: "It was great to have a solid performance in front of the home crowd"

Mari Eder survived the fast race with one shot that came from the upright. He lost to the winner by 29.1 seconds, and will therefore be able to chase tomorrow from excellent positions.

- It was great to have a solid performance in front of the home crowd. They got along just fine. A lot of people had come. It warms the mind. The top 10 ranking is good, Eder said and was also happy to have a good starting position for the chase.

Minkkinen was also happy about his success.

– Today was a good day! 25th is a good place for me. The time difference to the front is small and with one penalty when I have that position, I am very satisfied. Really good mood. There is a tight pack for tomorrow's chase, there are certainly investments available and the turnover is quite high. Let's start fighting for better positions, Minkkinen said happily.

Apart from Eder and Minkkinen, unfortunately, no other Finnish women will be seen in the pursuit on Sunday. Erika Jänkä was 73rd, and Nastassia Kinnunen was disqualified.