Norway's Johannes Thingnes Bø grabs the initiative in Östersund ©IBU

Norway claimed the men's 4x7.5 kilometres team relay on the penultimate day of competition at the International Biathlon Union World Cup in Östersund.

The quartet of Johannes Dale, Erland Bjøntegaard, Tarjei Bø and Johannes Thingnes Bø set the pace and were quickest around the course, clocking 1hr 10min 30.4sec to top the podium in the Swedish town.

Just 8.4 seconds split the Norwegian and French teams at the end of the third leg of the relay, but it was Johannes Thingnes Bø who sealed victory, crossing the line more than 30 seconds clear of his French rival.

France finished a worthy second in 1:11.02.07, the quartet of Emilien Jacquelin, Quentin Fillon Maillet, Simon Desthieux and Martin Fourcade, coming home almost a minute ahead of the Italian team.

Italy's Lukas Hofer, Thomas Bormolini, Daniele Cappellari and Dominik Windisch came in third to round out the podium in 1:11.57.5, as hosts Sweden could only finish fifth after picking up a penalty.

Tomorrow, the action concludes in Östersund with the women's 4x6km relay.