Oksana Masters claimed a maiden biathlon World Cup gold medal ©Getty Images

American Oksana Masters admitted to being surprised after winning her first World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup biathlon gold medal in Canmore.

The 28-year-old, who has won Paralympic medals at both Summer and Winter editions in cross-country skiing and rowing, excelled in the women's individual sitting event at the Canadian venue.

She led after each of the five laps on the 12.5 kilometre course, finishing in a time of 46min 00.9sec and missing just two shots.

Her time was almost two minutes quicker than her nearest rivals although she has always seen cross-country as her strongest Nordic discipline, rather than biathlon.

"It feels absolutely shocking to be on top of the podium in a biathlon race," Masters said.

"All the best shooters and skiers are here. 

"To be in the mix and giving them a run for their money is shocking to me. 

"I am so used to chasing them and trying to hang on with them. 

"They are my motivation.

"This is the place where, the first time I did biathlon, I missed all five shots and lost count in the penalty loop and did six loops.

"To go from there to here, in a tricky range, is good."

Masters had already missed out on gold in the cross-country sitting middle and long distance races in Canmore, winning two silvers.

She finished first in the sprint but was later disqualified for a false start.

Russians Marta Zainullina and Irina Guliaeva, who are competing as neutral athletes in Canmore due to their country's doping disqualification issued by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), were second and third behind Masters.

Zainullina clocked 48:07.0 and Guliaeva 48:09.9 with the pair missing three and one targets respectively.

In the men's individual standing, France's Benjamin Daviet clinched top honours in 35:46.3.

Oksana Masters regarded biathlon as the weaker of her two Nordic disciplines ©Getty Images
Oksana Masters regarded biathlon as the weaker of her two Nordic disciplines ©Getty Images

He did not miss a single shot as Canada's Mark Arendz took silver on home snow in front of Russian neutral Aleksandr Pronkov who also both shot clean in times of 36:56.7 and 37:04.0 respectively. 

"I did the job in the shooting range like I wanted to do," said Daviet. 

"On skis, I started slowly, like I wanted, and was able to finish very, very strong."

The remaining four races today were all won by Russian neutrals, highlighting the country's strength even though their participation at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympics has yet to be determined by the IPC.

Ivan Golubkov won the men's sitting in 43:25.2 despite missing two shots, beating clean shooting compatriot Roman Petushkov into silver with his time of 44:51.0.

South Korea's Hyun Eui Sin missed a single shot and timed 45:30.8 for the bronze.

There was another neutral top two in the women's standing as Ekaterina Rumyantseva came home over Anna Milenina.

Rumyantseva was timed at 37:06.3, missing once, with Milenina second in 38:11.2, missing twice.

Canada's Brittany Hudak won her first World Cup medal on home snow with bronze, shooting clean but lacking speed on the skis to end in 40:54.1.

In the women's visually impaired, Mikhaline Lysova claimed gold with guide Alexey Ivanov.

She missed one shot and claimed a huge win in 38:34.7.

Germany's Clara Klug and Martin Hartl were second in 42:20.3, missing twice, with neutral Marina Galitsyna and guide Maxsim Pirogov third in 42:34.1 after four shots missed.

The men's visually impaired went to Stanislav Chokhlaev as Russian neutrals claimed the top five positions.

He shot clean to win in 35:54.4 with guide Oleg Kolodiichuk.

Nikolai Polukhin was second with Eduard Berezin, missing a single shot in a time of 39:00.3.

Alexsandr Artemov was guided to bronze by Ilia Cherepanov, clocking 44:08.6 with four targets missed.

Sprint biathlon races will continue the World Cup on Saturday (December 16).