Norway took the first gold medal of the Biathlon World Championships in Pokljuka, Slovenia with victory in the 4x7.5km mixed relay.

The team of Sturla Holm Laegreid, Johannes Thingnes Boe, Tiril Eckhoff and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland defended their title in a time of 1:20.19.3.

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Norway built up a lead of nearly 40 seconds at the halfway mark and held onto their advantage despite Roeiseland having to use three spare rounds during the standing shoot.

The Austrian quartet of David Komatz, Simon Eder, Dunja Zdouc and Lisa Theresa Hauser finished 27 seconds behind in second.

Meanwhile, Sweden's team of Sebastian Samuelsson, Martin Ponsiluoma, Linn Persson and Hanna Oeberg rounded off the podium in third, 30 seconds off the win.

"I do not know what happened," said Olsbu Roeiseland.

"After I shot, I saw that I had three mistakes. I only had three extra shots and knew I had to be really concentrated on these three.

"It was not so much fun, but am happy that I made it. I have amazing teammates. They made it easy for me, so I am happy that I did not ruin everything today."

The World Championships continue on Friday with the men's 10km sprint.

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