By Emily Goddard

Aristide Bègue has won the junior men’s title on the opening day of Open European Biathlon Championships ©IBU/Andrei IvanovFrance's Aristide Bègue shot clean to take the junior men's title on the opening day of competition at the International Biathlon Union Open European Championships in Otepää, Estonia, today.

He secured the 15 kilometres gold medal after shooting 20-of-20 in 39min 522.1sec, ahead of defending champion and home athlete Rene Zahkna, who came second with two penalties, 1:19.0 behind.

Ukraine's Maksym Ivko had just one miss and was 3.7 seconds ahead of Zahkna after the fourth shooting, but was not as strong and finished third.

Meanwhile, the women's 12.5km event saw Russian Victoria Slivko claiming the title.

Victoria Slivko (centre) claimed gold in the women's 12.5km event ©IBU/Andrei IvanovVictoria Slivko (centre) claimed gold in the women's 12.5km event ©IBU/Andrei Ivanov

She had a single penalty and won the gold in 38:41.1 after coming from 4.3 seconds behind after the fourth shooting stage.

Austria's Dunja Zdouc had led for most of the race but finished in second place, 9.9 seconds back, with two penalties, while Yuliya Zhuravok of Ukraine finished third, 29.0 seconds behind, with two misses.

The competition is due to continue in Otepää tomorrow with the individual women's 15km and men's 20km races.

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