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Sikora, Dafovska Win Biathlon Races

February 21, 2004

RAUBICHI, Belarus (AP) _ Tomasz Sikora of Poland won his second gold medal at the European biathlon championships Saturday, while former Olympic champion Ekaterina Dafovska won the women’s 15-kilometer individual race.

Sikora’s victory in the 20K event followed his gold in the 12.5K pursuit race Thursday. He also won silver in the sprint event Wednesday.

Sikora missed three targets but clocked 55 minutes, 7.9 seconds to finish on top. Russia’s Dmitri Iarochenko missed one target and finished second, 12.0 seconds behind. Alexei Tchourine, the only one to hit all the targets, was third.

Dafovska missed two targets and finished in 46:14.7 to win her first gold at a major event since taking the individual race at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

Olena Zubrilova of Belarus led the race from the start, but a miss at the final shooting range pushed her 17 seconds behind Dafovska. The Belarussian failed to catch up in the final lap and finished second, 21.0 seconds behind.

Bulgarian Pavlina Filipova came in third with two missed targets.

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