Elvira Öberg won the first IBU World Cup event of the 2023 season as she claimed the women's 7.5 kilometres sprint crown in Pokljuka ©Getty Images

Elvira Öberg took the first International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup event of 2023 as the Swedish athlete won the women’s 7.5 kilometres sprint title in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Öberg, who won three medals at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, including silver in this event, managed two clean rounds of shooting as she took victory in 20min 25.2secs.

It was Öberg’s second win of the current World Cup season, and after she took the lead following the standing stage of competition she powered through the soft snow on the final loop at the Pokljuka Sport Center to win by 6.9 seconds.

France’s Julia Simon, wearing the yellow bib as she lead the overall standings finished second in 20:32.1, with Italy’s Dorothea Wierer completing the podium in 20:43.9.

Reflecting on her win Öberg said: "I am most happy about the clean shooting, finally. 

"I had the opportunity in the sprint in France but missed the last shot. 

"I really felt that I wanted to do better than that today when I had the opportunity - super happy and a perfect start to the New Year.

"It worked out quite good."

Simon maintains her lead in the overall standings following competition in Pokljuka with 546 points.

Öberg sits second on 485 points, with Denise Herrmann-Wick of Germany in third place on 396.

Action is scheduled to continue tomorrow in Pokljuka with the men’s 10 kilometres sprint event.