France celebrate their win in the junior women's 4x6km relay at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships ©IBU/Evgeny Thumashov

Russia and France won the respective junior men's and women's relays as action continued today at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Youth/Junior World Championships in Lenzerheide in Switzerland.

The men's 4x7.5 kilometres event saw the Russian team of Kirill Bazhin, Daniil Serokhvostov, Vadim Istamgulov and Said Karimulla Khalili triumph in heavy snow in 1 hour 32min 7.7sec, with one penalty and 14 spare rounds.

Germany's Max Barchewitz, Tim Grotian, Julian Hollandt and Danilo Riethmueller finished 20 seconds back in the runners-up spot, with just three spares.

A further 4.9 seconds behind, with 10 spares, were France's Thomas Briffaz, Guillaume Desmus, Martin Bourgeois Republique and Sebastien Mahon in the bronze-medal position.

It is the sixth time in a row that Russia have won the competition.

For anchor Khalili, victory secured his third consecutive junior men's relay gold medal.

Russia topped the junior men's 4x7.5km relay podium ©IBU/Evgeny Thumashov
Russia topped the junior men's 4x7.5km relay podium ©IBU/Evgeny Thumashov

In the women's 4x6km event, the clean shooting, fast skiing anchor of Paula Botet earned France their first gold medal at this year’s IBU Youth/Junior World Championships.

She was given a lead of 11.3 seconds by her team-mates Camille Bened, Laura Boucaud and Lou Anne Chevat, and the quartet ultimately prevailed in 1:22:49.5, with eight spare rounds. 

Russia's Anastasiia Khaliullina, Anastasiia Goreeva, Alina Kudisova and Anastasia Shevchenko were the fastest team on skis today, but Kudisova’s penalty loop proved too much and they finished 15.4 seconds back in second place with one penalty and seven spares.

Norway's Aasne Skrede, Mari Wetterhus, Marthe Krakstad Johansen and Juni Arnekleiv were 2:08.0 off the pace in third, with six spares.

Action in Lenzerheide is due to continue on Friday (January 31).

The youth men's 7.5km and youth women's 6km sprint events are scheduled to be held.