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Fischer Wins 20K Individual Race

January 22, 2004

ANTERSELVA, Italy (AP) _ Sven Fischer of Germany claimed his first win of the biathlon World Cup season Thursday in a 20-kilometer individual race.

Fischer, with his 23rd career victory, won with a time of 56 minutes, 32.7 seconds. Fischer has won at least one race each season since 1993.

Raphael Poiree of France was second, 7.5 seconds behind, Ricco Gross of Germany was third, 30.2 seconds back.

Each of the top three finishers missed only one target.

Five-time Olympic champion Ole Einar Bjorndalen of Norway missed three targets and finished seventh, 1 minute, 45.9 seconds behind, despite skiing faster than each of the top three finishers.

Bjorndalen maintained his lead in the overall World Cup standings.

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