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    Thursday, January 8, 1998

    Frenchman gets first WC biathlon win

     RUHPOLDING, Germany (CP) -- Frenchman Raphael Poiree scored his first biathlon World Cup win in a men's 10 kilometre event Thursday while Jean Paquet of Loretteville, Que., posted his best result this season.
     Poiree, a former junior world champion and the 1995 European champion, was faultless on the shooting range and clocked 26 minutes 05.4 seconds. Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen was second by 11 seconds depsite one penalty lap. German Ricco Gross came third in 26:28.4 and seized the lead in the World Cup standings.
     Paquet posted his best result since an 18th in the 1995-96 season, finishing 36th in 27:49.4 with two missed targets. Steve Cyr of Val Belair, Que., was 71st, Eric Jensen of Regina 80th and Kevin Quintilio of Hinton, Alta., 81st.
     Canada has qualified two spots for the Nagano Olympics in men's competition and is looking to earn two more this weekend, the last World Cup meet prior to the Games.
     In the women's 7.5 kilometre event, the victory went to World Cup leader Magdalena Forsberg of Sweden in 23:23.0, while German Petra Behle followed in 23:29.5 and Corinne Niogret of France took third in 23:29.6.
     Nikki Keddie of Toronto was again the top Canadian in placing 42nd while double Olympic champion Myriam Bedard of Loretteville, Que., was 59th, Michelle Collard of Vanderhoof, B.C., 61st and Kristin Berg of Edmonton, 77th.