By Nick Butler

Ekaterina Yurlova claimed a shock victory for Russia at the World Biathlon Championships ©AFP/Getty ImagesEkaterina Yurlova enjoyed a shock victory in the women's 15 kilometres individual race today at the Biathlon World Championships in Kontiolahti.

The 30-year-old, whose best result until now had been a European Championship bronze as part of the Russian relay team in 2010, produced the only clear round of the competition to triumph in 41min 32.20sec.

In good conditions in the Finnish resort, the race came down to the wire as Czech Republic's double Sochi 2014 biathlon silver medallist Gabriela Soukalová - part of the victorious Czech mixed relay team earlier in the Championship - missed her final shot. 

The consequent penalty loop ultimately meant she had to settle for the runners-up spot again, finishing 23.2 seconds behind as home hope Kaisa Mäkäräinen took bronze. 

Dorothea Wierer of Italy placed fourth while, further back, Belarus' Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic champion Darya Domracheva continued what is proving to be a frustrating Championships by finishing down in 16th place.

The pursuit tester in the Finnish resort ripped up the form-book as the unheralded Russian tasted victory ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe pursuit tester in the Finnish resort ripped up the form-book as the unheralded Russian tasted victory ©AFP/Getty Images

But the victory for the unheralded 30-year-old Russian is already being considered one of the biggest shocks in the 31 year long history of the event.

She becomes only the second Russian winner after Ekaterina Iourieva in 2008.

Iourieva was subsequently awarded a two-year doping ban in 2009 before being handed a second ban in 2014, after which she announced her retirement.

Action continues tomorrow in Kontiolahti with the men's 20km individual competition. 

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