Biathlon - Birnbacher snatches 10km sprint win

Germany's Andreas Birnbacher raced to the narrowest of victories in the men's 10km sprint at round two of the Biathlon World Cup at Hochfilzen, edging out reigning overall champion Martin Fourcade.

The build up to the Austrian event was overshadowed by the shock retirement of three-time Olympic champion Michael Greis who quit after a poor showing at the season curtain-raiser in Sweden.

However Birnbacher wasn't in the mood to get sentimental about the departure of his countryman Greis and promptly raced to victory in a time of 25.31.01 minutes.

Frenchman Fourcade took the Crystal Globe last year and had hit the ground running with two victories at the season-opening World Cup round in Sweden.

However he was forced to settle for second in Hochfilzen by just 0.4 of a second – some gusting winds in the later stages perhaps to blame for his narrow defeat.

Slovenia's Jakov Fak was third, less than 15 seconds behind the winner in what was a thrilling encounter in Austria ahead of tomorrow's 12.5km pursuit.