Norway's Martin Nevland raced to victory in the mass start event on the opening day of the IBU Junior World championships in  Lenzerheide ©IBU

Norway's Martin Nevland and Switzerland's Lea Meier triumphed in the youth men and women's events at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Junior World Championships in Lenzerheide.

Over the men's 12.5km course in the Swiss resort, Nevland had a comfortable win in a time of 36min, 36.4sec, 12.9 seconds ahead of France's Damien Levet, who took the silver medal. 

Levet's teammate, Eric Perrot finished 30.7 seconds off the gold medal, but nearly a whole minute ahead of the nearest threat to his bronze. 

Nevland missed three targets, more than anyone in the top five, but managed to hold off any threat with his skiing in between shooting. 

Levet's early miss did not help his chances of medalling but Perrot would soon miss two targets later in the race, giving Levet the advantage in the latter stages.

In the women's 10km race, Meier won by a nearly identical margin of 12.7 seconds to Italy's Rebecca Passler in a time of 33:52.4.

In third came Anna Gandler of Austria, with only 35 seconds covering the top seven, nearly the same margin as first to third in the men's race.

Meier's two target misses compared to Passler and Gandler's three may have been the difference overall in the medals. 

Also with three misses were fourth and fifth place athletes Liubov Kalinina of Russia and Heidi Nikkinen of Finland, all within 25 seconds of the gold medal. 

Competition is due to continue with the junior men's 15km and junior women's 12.5km.