Russia’s biathletes finished outside the medals at the 2012 World Biathlon Championships for the seventh time on Friday, after the Russian men’s team finished sixth in the relay.
With just three of the 11 events remaining in Ruhpolding, Germany, Russia has two bronze medals, both in the pursuit, and is on course for its worst-ever performance at a world championships, excluding the small-scale events held in Olympic years.
Norway was victorious in a time of one hour, 17 minutes and 26 seconds to take the country’s third world championship relay win in a row.
The French team finished 29 seconds behind in second, with Germany 53 seconds off the pace in third.
Russia men’s team of Anton Shipulin, Andrey Makoveev, Evgeny Garanichev and Dimitry Malyshko finished one minute 44 seconds behind after Makoveev briefly led during the second leg.
The turning point came when Garanichev missed three shots at one of his targets on the third leg, obliging him to take a penalty lap.
Saturday sees the women’s relay, where Russia will field three of the four members of its 2010 gold medal-winning relay team from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
As in Vancouver, Svetlana Sleptsova will take the first leg, and will hand over to Olga Zaitseva, before Anna Bogaly-Titovets and Olga Vilukhina take over, the Russian Biathlon Union said in a statement on its website Friday.
Sunday is the final day of the championships, when the men’s and women’s mass start events will take place.