Vebjoern Soerum, centre, won the junior men's sprint at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Osrblie today in a race he described as "perfect" ©IBU

Norway have picked up their first gold medal at the 2019 International Biathlon Union Youth/Junior World Championships in Osrblie as Vebjoern Soerum won the junior men’s sprint.

The youngster triumphed on the 10 kilometres course in Slovakia with a time of 25min 42.9sec.

That placed him 14.4 seconds ahead of Russia’s Said Karimulla Khalili, while Soerum’s compatriot Sivert Guttorm Bakken finished third, 36.3 seconds behind.

Soerum shot clean during the race and set the fastest lap of the day to finish ahead of Khalilli, who also shot clean but could not keep up on the skis.

"This was most definitely a perfect race for me," he said.

"My shooting was composed and fast and I was fast on the skis, obviously.

"Strangely I felt tired in the first lap, but after second shooting my coaches informed me that I have a small margin lead over Khalili and that gold medal is within my reach.

"I got an adrenaline rush and gave it all.

"World gold is a fantastic achievement and shows how good we are working."

Ukraine’s Ekaterina Bekh won the junior women's sprint by 12.1 seconds ©IBU
Ukraine’s Ekaterina Bekh won the junior women's sprint by 12.1 seconds ©IBU

In the women’s race, Ukraine’s Ekaterina Bekh took the gold medal in 21:03.6.

She shot clean and finished the 7.5km course 12.1 seconds ahead of Kamila Zuk from Poland, who picked up two penalties.

Germany’s Hanna Kebinger finished a further two seconds back to claim the bronze medal. 

Tomorrow the Championships are due come to an end when the junior and youth pursuit races take place.