HOCHFILZEN, Austria (Reuters) - German Laura Dahlmeier claimed her fifth gold medal in six races at the biathlon world championships when a strong finish earned her the title in the 12.5-km mass start event on Sunday.
World Cup leader Dahlmeier shot 20/20 and leapfrogged unheralded American Susan Dunklee to add to her titles in the individual, the pursuit, the relay and the mixed relay.
Finland's Kaisa Makarainen produced stunning acceleration in the final lap to grab the bronze at the expense of Czech Gabriela Koukalova.
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Defending champion Marie Dorin-Habert of France cracked in the finale and finished seventh.
Olympic champion Darya Domracheva of Belarus, one of the pre-race favorites, missed the target twice in the prone position, seeing her podium chances vanish early on.
After a fine start, world number 29 Dunklee was again first out of the range after another clean shooting in the third of four sessions.
About four seconds behind were Dahlmeier, who also won silver in the sprint event, and Koukalova with Dorin-Habert 10 seconds off the pace but the three caught Dunklee shortly before the final shooting session.
Dunklee and Dahlmeier made no mistake and battled it out for gold with the German coolly gliding ahead in the last lap.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)