Monika Hojnisz-Staręga earned victory on the opening day of competition ©Getty Images

Poland enjoyed home success on the opening day of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Open European Championships in Duszniki-Zdrój.

Monika Hojnisz-Staręga triumphed in the women’s 15-kilometre individual event for the host nation.

Hojnisz-Staręga achieved a time of 45min 17.1sec to triumph in the opening race of the European Championships, with the 29-year-old receiving one penalty.

The Polish athlete has now secured two European Championship gold medals in her career, having won the pursuit competition back in 2013.

Ukraine’s Anastasiya Merkushyna finished as the runner-up after ending 2.9 behind the winner, after shooting clean during the event.

Russia’s Larisa Kuklina completed the podium places, ending 15.5 off the pace to receive the bronze medal.

The 20km men’s race saw Latvia’s Andrejs Rastorgujevs emerge as a comfortable winner.

He clinched victory in a time of 52:04.7, with one penalty received.

Andrejs Rastorgujevs triumphed in the men's event ©Getty Images
Andrejs Rastorgujevs triumphed in the men's event ©Getty Images

Norway’s Erlend Bjoentegaard finished in second place at 1:27.5 down, after two penalties during the race.

The podium was completed by his team-mate Endre Stroemsheim, who ended 1:41.4 behind the winner.

No races will be held tomorrow.

Racing will resume on Friday (January 29), with the women’s 7.5km and men’s 10km sprint events set to be contested.

The penultimate day of competition will see the women’s 10km and men’s 12.5km pursuit races held.

The European Championships are scheduled to conclude on Sunday (January 31) with relay events - the single mixed relay and 4x6km mixed relay.

Competition will be open to participants from outside Europe, with the event doubling as a stop on the second-tier IBU Cup circuit.