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Canadian biathlete Rosanna Crawford claims first World Cup podium place

Canada's Rosanna Crawford celebrates in the finish area after the women's 15-km individual biathlon race at the Biathlon World Cup in Ruhpolding, Germany, on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018.

Sven Hoppe/AP

Canadian biathlete Rosanna Crawford claimed her first ever World Cup podium place after finishing third in a women's 15-kilometre individual race on Thursday.

"Not something I was really expecting this season," Crawford said, who shot cleanly in the race.

Italy's Dorothea Wierer also shot cleanly to win in 41 minutes, 29.0 seconds, ahead of Kaisa Makarainen of Finland - who missed one target - by 12.7 seconds and Crawford by 21.2.

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"I felt really confident about my shooting in the last weeks," said Wierer, whose last win was at Canmore, Alta., in February 2016.

Ukrainians Yuliia Dzhima and Valj Semerenko finished fourth and fifth, respectively, followed by Darya Domracheva.

Belarus teammate Nadezhda Skardino's seventh place was enough to win the individual crystal globe after her first place in Ostersund, Sweden.

"It was my dream, and now it's one dream less in my life," Skardino said. "I'm very happy."

Overall World Cup leader Anastasiya Kuzmina finished ninth, 1:32.3 behind with three missed targets.

After 11 races, Makarainen cut the Slovakian biathlete's lead to 25 points with 11 events to go.

Makarainen was presented with a small cake and urged to make a wish for her birthday as she blew out the candle.

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"Can anybody guess what it might be?" the Finn joked.

Kuzmina leads on 454 points, ahead of Makarainen on 429 and Wierer on 378.

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