By Nick Butler

Johannes Thingnes Boe en route to biathlon sprint gold on the Finnish course ©Getty ImagesNorway's Johannes Thingnes Bøe claimed the first senior world title of his career today with 10 kilometres sprint gold at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland.

The 21-year-old, who won five world titles in a glittering junior career before graduating to the senior ranks, won despite missing his 10th and final shot, en route to victory in 24min 12.8sec.

It added to bronze earlier in the week as part of the Norwegian mixed relay team.

Nathan Smith of Canada finished 12 seconds behind in a surprise second place, while Bøe's elder brother, Tarjei, took bronze after failing to keep pace on the skis despite some flawless shooting.

The tricky and blustery conditions at the Finnish resort caused plenty of surprises, with France's two-time Sochi 2014 Olympic champion Martin Fourcade finishing down in 12th after missing three targets.

"It was a maximum of what we could expect today," said the winner afterwards.

"Two brothers on the podium for the first time and my first gold medal.

"After the relay, which I think was important for my preparation, my muscles felt good and today my mind was focused and prepared for pain."

Marie Dorin Habert of France took the first major title of her career in the women's sprint event ©AFP/Getty ImagesMarie Dorin Habert of France took the first major title of her career in the women's sprint event ©AFP/Getty Images

In the 7.5km women's event, Marie Dorin Habert made amends for her French compatriot Fourcade's disappointment, with the 28-year-old finishing 9.6 seconds clear of Poland's Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak.

It was a first major championship crown in a career that had previously been highlighted by silver and bronze medals at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Valj Semerenko of Ukraine took the bronze, 19.7 seconds behind, while gold medal favourite Darya Domracheva of Belarus finished down in 25th after a disappointing performance.

Action continues in Kontiolahti tomorrow with male and female pursuit races.

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