By Daniel Etchells

Valja Semerenko tasted World Championship success for the first time ©Getty ImagesUkraine's Valja Semerenko shot cleanly on her way to winning the women's 12.5 kilometres mass start event and securing a first individual Biathlon World Championships title in Kontiolahti today.

Semerenko, the bronze medallist in last week's sprint, clocked a time of 34min 32.9sec in the Finnish municipality to finish ahead of Germany's Franziska Preuss, 6.2 seconds back with one penalty, and Italy's Karin Oberhofer, 12.6 seconds behind with two penalties.

The 4x6km relay Olympic gold medallist took charge in the final standing stage, cleaning easily at the shooting range and leaving with a 19-second lead that the chasing pack were unable to make up.

"I wanted to get the flag in the last 100 metres, but when I looked around and realised someone was close, I forgot and just tried to get to the finish line," said Semerenko.

"My sister was actually holding the flag for me and I missed her there.

"I am full of emotions and very happy to win this medal for my country.

"I came to the sport wanting to be an Olympic and world champion and now I am."

Slovenia's Jakov Fak took the men's 15km mass start event crown ©Getty ImagesSlovenia's Jakov Fak took the men's 15km mass start event crown ©Getty Images

Meanwhile, in the men's 15km event Slovenia's Jakov Fak broke away from the field to secure the second world title of his career.

Fak's time of 36:24.9 with one penalty was exactly one second quicker than the Czech Republic's Ondrej Moravec, who won his third medal of the Championships with one penalty, while Norway's Tarjei Boe was 3.7 seconds off the pace in the bronze medal position, also with one penalty.

The former 20km individual world champion found himself 4.1 seconds behind leader Ole Einar Bjørndalen of Norway as the battle shifted to the tracks.

Moravec was the next to take the lead with 1.8km remaining before Fak managed to establish and maintain a narrow advantage to the finish line. 

"Standing on the start I looked at all of the other medal winners and thought that I wanted one and I got it," said Fak. 

The event brings an end to the World Championships, which are scheduled to be held in Oslo next year. 

France finished top overall of the medals table with six medals, three gold, two silver and a bronze.

That was one medal more than Germany, whose tally of five was made up of three gold and two silver.

Norway actually won the most medals, finishing with seven, a gold, two silver and four bronze.

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