By Michael Pavitt

Fanny Welle-Strand Horn claimed her first World Cup victory ©Getty ImagesNorway's Fanny Welle-Strand Horn claimed the first International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup victory of her career, taking advantage of perfect conditions in Ruhpolding to win the women's 7.5 kilometres race ahead of Belarus' Darya Domracheva.

Horn and Domracheva enjoyed a fine day as both women enjoyed clean shooting rounds throughout the sprint.

Domracheva took the early lead as a number of her rivals failed to shoot clean.  

Ukraine's Valja Semerenko looked like a serious challenger to the Belarusian as she went through without a hiccup, however, she was unable to get closer than 18 seconds.

Domracheva's main challenge, therefore, came from the Norwegian pair of Horn and Tiril Eckoff.

Despite one standing penalty, Eckoff  put in a strong final lap to close the gap on the leader, falling just 5.9 seconds short by the line.

Horn then fired clean in both the prone and standing to give her an 8 second lead over the field, with Domracheva in second. 

Domracheva's clean run did not come without fault, and it was the use of a spare round during her prone run that cost her dearly as Horn skied to victory in 21min 7sec.

Her time was just 3.4 seconds ahead of Domracheva in second, with Eckoff rounding off the top three positions.

Darya Domracheva (left) finished in second with Tiril Eckoff of Norway (right) in third ©Getty ImagesDarya Domracheva (left) finished in second with Tiril Eckoff of Norway (right) in third ©Getty Images

"I have been in this game for a long time, 5 years in the World Cup," admitted Horn after her victory.

"Today everything worked out for me; skiing, waxing and shooting.

"I am really happy and I am really happy that I made 10 good shots."

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