Émilien Jacquelin sprang a surprise to win the World pursuit title ©Getty Images

Émilien Jacquelin of France chose the perfect stage to secure his maiden senior individual victory as he triumphed in the men's pursuit at the Biathlon World Championships in Antholz-Anterselva.

The 24-year-old stunned a stellar field, crossing the line 0.04sec ahead of Norway's Johannes Thingnes Bø to earn an historic win.

Bø, the Olympic individual champion who was one of the pre-race favourites, led until the final standing stage but was overtaken by Jacquelin after missing a vital shot.

The Norwegian was forced to settle for silver following his costly error, which denied him a second gold medal of the Championships.

Sprint champion Alexander Loginov of Russia claimed bronze after finishing 23.9 behind Jacquelin.

Italy's Dorothea Wierer had earlier topped the podium in the women's pursuit to the delight of the partisan crowd inside the iconic venue.

Wierer, the reigning overall IBU World Cup champion, completed the 10km course in 29:22 to seal her second World title.

Dorothea Wierer struck gold on home soil in the women's pursuit ©Getty Images
Dorothea Wierer struck gold on home soil in the women's pursuit ©Getty Images

The 29-year-old finished 9.5 ahead of nearest challenger Denise Herrmann of Germany to add to her growing list of major honours in the sport.

Herrmann outskied Norway's Marte Olsbu Røiseland, the recently crowned sprint World Champion, to take silver.

Røiseland's three penalties in shooting proved costly as she ended 13.8 adrift of the victorious Italian.

"I was really happy to race today because I had much better feelings than in the sprint," Wierer said.

"I felt it from the start that today I was in really good shape. 

"So I attacked from the first meters and I was really confident on the shooting even if my zeroing was really bad. 

"I was just trying to enjoy it."

The Championships resume on Tuesday (February 18) following a rest day tomorrow.