By Daniel Etchells

Fabien Claude (centre) celebrates his triumph in the junior men's 10 kilometre sprint at the IBU Open European Championships ©IBUFrance's Fabien Claude claimed his first victory of the season in the junior men's 10 kilometres sprint at the International Biathlon Union Open European Championships in Otepää, Estonia.

Claude shot clean on his way to posting a time of 24 min 26.40sec, finishing ahead of Russia's Eduard Latypov and Aleksandr Dediukhin, who took the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Latypov was in fifth place, 49.3 seconds off the lead, after incurring two penalties during the standing stage, but a strong performance on the track reduced the deficit to 25.6 seconds at the finish.

A further 6.8 seconds back was Dediukhin, who shot clean, while fellow Russian Alexander Povarnitsyn was just 1.6 seconds off a podium finish with two penalties.

Home athletes Rene Zahkna, silver medallist in the 15km race on Wednesday (January 28), finished 58.2 seconds off the pace with one penalty in fifth, while France's Aristide Bègue, winner of the 15km race, completed the top six after finishing 59.5 seconds back with one penalty.

Austria's Dunja Zdouc claimed her second silver medal of the Championships in the junior women's 7.5km sprint ©IBU/Andrei IvanovAustria's Dunja Zdouc claimed her second silver medal of the Championships in the junior women's 7.5km sprint ©IBU

Meanwhile, in the junior women's 7.5km sprint Ukraine's Anastasiya Merkushyna shot clean in clocking a time of 21:56.30 and held off the challenge of Austria's Dunja Zdouc and Russia's Uliana Kaisheva, who finished second and third respectively.

Zdouc, winner of the silver medal in the 12.5km event on Wednesday, led the way by 1.2 seconds ahead after shooting clean in the standing but ended up 5.4 seconds behind.

Kaisheva made it onto the podium despite incurring two penalties, crossing the finish line just 12.9 seconds behind Merkushyna.

Another Russian, Natalia Gerbulova, shot clean but finished 17.9 seconds back in fourth, while France's Julia Simon was 35.8 seconds off the pace with one penalty in fifth.

Completing the top six was Ukraine's Yuliya Zhuravok, bronze medallist in the 12.5km race, who missed her last shot and ended up 36.4 seconds behind.

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