Janosch Brugger won German gold on day one in Utah ©US Ski Team/Tom Kelly

Janosch Brugger's gold capped a fine opening day of cross-country for Germany at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Nordic Junior World Championships at Park City in the United States.

Brugger came from behind to beat Norway's Petter Stakston in the final of the men's junior classic sprint event on a day when his country won three of the six medals available at the Utah resort.

The German only qualified for the final on the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic trails as a "lucky loser" from the semi-finals but propelled himself at the finish to claim a narrow win on the line.

Stakston, who was the fastest qualifier and won both his quarter-final and semi-final, had to settle for the silver medal as another Norwegian, Herman Meyer, took bronze.

"I didn't have any strategy - just pushing as hard as I can," said Brugger. 

Polina Nekrasova of Russia won the junior women's classic sprint ©US Ski Team/Tom Kelly
Polina Nekrasova of Russia won the junior women's classic sprint ©US Ski Team/Tom Kelly

"It means everything to me - on this day you’re the best in the world. 

"It means a lot because our coach competed here in 2002. 

"For him and for us, it’s special to race here today."

In the women's classic sprint, Polina Nekrasova of Russia won all three of her races en-route to the top of the podium.

After winning a bronze last year in Rasnov, this was her first individual medal at the event.

Germany took both minor medals as Antonia Froebel and Coletta Rydzek finished second and third respectively.

The competition in Utah features cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic Combined.

Action continues tomorrow with the men's and women's under-23 cross-country sprints, and the first Nordic combined competition, featuring ski jumping and a 10 kilometre race.