Wierer wins biathlon WCup, Crawford claims first podium

From left: Finland's second placed Kaisa Makarainen, Italian winner Dothea Wierer, and Canada's third placed Rosanna Crawford celebrate on the podium

RUHPOLDING, Germany (AP) — Italian biathlete Dorothea Wierer shot cleanly to win the women's 15-kilometer individual race for her first World Cup win of the season on Thursday.

Wierer finished in 41 minutes, 29.0 seconds, beating Kaisa Makarainen of Finland - who missed one target - by 12.7 seconds and Rosanna Crawford of Canada by 21.2.

Crawford also shot cleanly as she claimed her first ever podium place.

"Not something I was really expecting this season," the Canadian said.

Ukrainians Yuliia Dzhima and Valj Semerenko finished fourth and fifth, respectively, followed by Darya Domracheva.

Belarus teammate Nadezhda Skardino's seventh place was enough to win the individual crystal globe after her first place in Ostersund, Sweden.

Overall World Cup leader Anastasiya Kuzmina finished ninth, 1:32.3 behind with three missed targets. After 11 races, the Slovakian biathlete leads on 454 points, ahead of Makarainen on 429 and Wierer on 378.

The men's relay was scheduled for Friday.