By Liam Morgan

Fourcade proved too strong for the rest of the field as he clinched victory in the delayed sprint event ©Getty ImagesFrance's Martin Fourcade claimed victory in the delayed men's sprint at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Oberhof.

Owing to a combination of rain, warm temperatures and wind, which had melted some of the snow, the race got underway two-and-a-half hours late and it was Fourcade who crossed the line in front of Ole Einar Björndalen of Norway, and Russia's Timofey Lapshin.

The Frenchman finished in a time of 27:02.5, 4.4 seconds ahead of Björndalen and a further 17.5 seconds ahead of Lapshin.

During the delay, organisers had to resort to using artificial snow, and they ended up creating a 2.6 kilometre loop that the competitors then had to run four times.

When the race eventually began, Johannes Thingnes Boe, Björndalen and Fourcade led from the front.

Fourcade was just 7.9 seconds behind Björndalen as they entered the stadium, before the Frenchman found some extra power towards the end to clinch a late victory.

Germany's Miriam Gössner was victorious in the women's event in Poland ©Getty ImagesGermany's Miriam Gössner was victorious in the women's event in Poland ©Getty Images

Before the event, officials in the German city had stated their concern that delays over plans to redevelop an arena would harm its bid to host either the 2020 or 2021 Biathlon World Championships.

The resort announced its intention to bid for the competition back in 2014, but now organisers are worried about the allocation of €27 million (£21.1 million/$33.5 million), with local authorities delaying a decision on the plans.

"I'm seriously worried about how to proceed," Sabine Reuss, President of the Thüringer Ski Association, told German news agency the DPA.

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