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Soukup upsets Russian favorite to win mass start biathlon at Winter Universiade
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Jaroslav Soukup shock the men's mass start field here on Saturday as the Czech biathlete beat Russian favorite Artem Gusev to claim the title at the 24th Harbin Winter Universiade.

In the competition consisting of 15 kilometers skiing and four-round rifle shootings of 20 targets, Soukup raced to victory in 42 minutes 3.2 seconds, missing only two targets.

Artem, Russian's double gold medallists, led for much of the race with his powerful skiing but was surpassed by the Czech in the third round shooting, when he missed one more target than Soukup, which cost him one extra lap of 150 meters.

Artem's teammate Alexey Trusov finally finished in second, trailing the Czech by 33.5 seconds. Artem stood third with another 33.6 seconds adrift.

"My shooting was so good today, especially in the third round. One extra lap for him helped me seize the gold. It might be the turning point," said the winner.

"How to say, it's my first gold here, it's very good for me. I only want to make good shooting and to cross the line first," he added.

The five-day biathlon events will conclude on Saturday afternoon with women's mass start. Russian biathletes have wrapped up six of eight golds on offer up to now.

(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2009)

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