Slovakia's Anastasiya Kuzmina ended her long wait for a world title as she saved her fastest skiing for the last loop to claim gold in the women's sprint race at the International Biathlon Union World Championships in Östersund today.
The 34-year-old added the world 7.5 kilometres crown to her two Olympic gold medals in the discipline in a time of 22min 17.5sec.
Kuzmina, who won the mass start competition at last year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, crossed the line 9.7 seconds ahead of silver medallist Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold of Norway.
Laura Dahlmeier of Germany, who missed the start of the season and was forced to withdraw from yesterday's mixed relay through illness, took bronze, 12.6 adrift of the victorious Slovakian.
"It is a magical feeling," said Kuzmina.
"I did not expect this with one mistake.
"I was always thinking that it would take two zeroes to win.
"I did it just like my first gold medal in Vancouver with one mistake.
"Today I had one and this is also my first World Championships gold medal and it is unbelievable."
Difficult conditions greeted the athletes at the start of the course, with a strong wind blowing across the shooting range.
Kuzmina was among the competitors who missed a target early on and she was forced to ski the penalty loop.
The Slovakian veteran was at one point facing a deficit of over 30 seconds to then leader Kaisa Mäkäräinen of Finland.
But she fought back valiantly, thanks in part to a clean prone shooting, where she dropped all five targets to close the gap on the leading pack.
Kuzmina flew around the last loop, overtaking Tandrevold with ease to secure her maiden world title in the twilight years of her career.
The World Championships continue tomorrow with the men's 10km sprint event.