Dominik Windisch triumphed in the men's mass start event ©Getty Images

Italy celebrated double gold in mass start competitions as the International Biathlon Union World Championships concluded in Östersund.

Dominik Windisch was left playing catch-up from the early stages of the men’s event in Sweden, as the Italian erred in the first shooting range.

An early penalty left him in 13th place after the range, but he slowly began to catch rivals as the race developed.

Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Bø pursued a fifth gold medal of the Championships and impressed as the race continued, but he faced competition from Evgeniy Garanichev of Russia.

The duo headed into the final shooting station of the 15 kilometre event as the leaders, only for Bø to miss five targets and Garanichev to endure four failures.

While their hopes of success were dashed, Windisch came to the station and delivered hit all five targets to emerge as the leader.

The Italian, who had three penalties during the race, remained clear and celebrated victory in a time of 40min 54.1sec.

He ended 26 seconds clear of France’s Antonin Guigonnat, who finished as the silver medallist.

Bronze was earned by Austria’s Julian Eberhard in 41:17.4.

Windisch’s triumph came just hours after compatriot Dorothea Wierer emerged as the winner of the women’s 12.5km race.

Unlike her team-mate Wierer led from early in the race and shot clean during the first three shooting sections.

Dorothea Wierer celebrated victory in the women's mass start race ©Getty Images
Dorothea Wierer celebrated victory in the women's mass start race ©Getty Images

Her advantage was cut when she received two penalties at the final station, but Wierer came through to become Italy’s first female biathlon world champion in a time of 37:26.4.

“I am happy with my performance today especially my shooting after three times zero.

“I was not 100 per cent on the skis because yesterday, I had some stomach problems and I could not start in the relay.

“I knew I could do it today after the third zero shooting.”

Russia’s Ekaterina Yurlova-Percht had closed on Wierer in the latter stages of the race, but was forced to settle for silver after ending 4.6 seconds adrift at the finish.

Bronze was claimed by Germany’s Denise Herrmann, who finished in 37:41.8.

The Championships concluded with Norway topping the medal table with five gold, three silver and one bronze, aided by Bø’s four golds.

Germany and Italy both ended with two gold medals, with the latter’s both coming on the final day.