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Russia snatches win in women's relay biathlon

Jens Meyer / AP

Olga Vilukhina of Russia skis during the women 4 x 6 km relay at the Biathlon World Cup in Oberhof, Germany, on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. Russia won the competition.

AP reports: OBERHOF, Germany - Germany looked set to claim the women's relay at the biathlon World Cup until a dramatic collapse allowed Russia to snatch victory on Wednesday.

Two-time Olympic champion Magdalena Neuner had a commanding lead of 20 seconds for the home team going into the final shoot, but could hit the target only once, forcing her to do four penalty laps.

Olga Vilukhina took full advantage to anchor the Russia team of Anna Bogaliy-Titovets, Svetlana Sleptsova and Olga Zaitseva to victory in 1 hour, 19 minutes, 32 seconds.

Robert Michael / AFP - Getty Images

Russia's biathlet Olga Vilukhina (L) and Germany's biathlet Magdalena Neuner compete at the shooting range during the women's 4 x 6 km relay event of the IBU biathlon World Cup in the eastern German town of Oberhof on Jan. 4, 2012.

Jens-Ulrich Koch / AP

Russia's Olga Vilukhina celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the Women's 4x6km biathlon relay during the Biathlon World Cup event in Oberhof, eastern Germany, Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012.