Emil Hegle Svendsen wins gold

Updated: February 10, 2011, 2:49 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT KENT, Maine -- Olympic champion Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway finished 7.2 seconds ahead of the Czech Republic's Michal Slesingr in the 10-kilometer sprint Thursday in the biathlon World Cup.

The biathlon, a sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship, is getting some star power with NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen attending the international parade Friday.

Svendsen, a two-time gold medalist in Vancouver, stayed ahead of Slesingr despite a penalty for missing one of his targets to finish with a time of 24 minutes, 51.4 seconds. Tarjei Boe of Norway shot clean to take third and maintain his overall World Cup lead.

Seventy-two athletes participated in the event at the 10th Mountain Center, the second of back-to-back World Cup events in Maine and the last sprint before the world championships in Russia. Last weekend, the World Cup was at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press