International biathlon event kicks off in N. Maine

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - More than 400 athletes from around the world are in northern Maine for a major biathlon event.

The first competitions are kicking off Friday in the weeklong IBU Youth/Junior World Biathlon Championships in Presque Isle. The International Biathlon Union sponsors the event, which features athletes skiing and shooting at targets on snow-covered trails at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.

The opening ceremony was held Thursday night at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

The youth men and youth women sprint competition are being held Friday. Other events over the upcoming week will include individual pursuit and relay competitions featuring youth and junior biathletes.

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