Sweden produced a stunning display to claim gold in the inaugural female Biathlon World Cup 4x6km relay event of the season in Kontiolahti, Finland.

Despite trailing the French team by 9.1s at the halfway point, sisters Elvira and Hanna Oeberg proved their quality and led Johanna Skottheim and Mona Brorsson to victory.

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PyeongChang Olympic champion Hanna was outstanding, missing the target just once in her four visits to the shooting area.

"It was really good," said the 25-year-old.

"We have had this strong team for many years now and have been contenders for the relay victory many times but there was always a team a bit better than us.

"To win means a lot to our team. It proves once again how strong we are this year.

"I was really impressed by my teammates. They gave the perfect situation on the last leg; I just had to go with it and I made it!"

It was the Belarus team that held the advantage after the first leg, with Dzinara Alimbekava leading the pack heading into the first changeover with a solid shooting display - missing the target just twice.

But from then on it was a shootout between France and Sweden for top spot, with Anais Chevalier-Bouchet producing a near-faultless performance to put the French side in the ascendency after the second leg.

That lead soon disappeared once Elvira Oeberg took to the snow, the powerful 21-year-old overtaking Chloe Chevalier to give the sister Hanna an 11.0s advantage heading into the final 6km stretch.

And once they had the advantage they never looked like letting it slide, as Oeberg senior came home to record a total time of 1:12:44.5 to see Sweden take the maximum 60 points from the first of six relay events this season.

Justine Braisaz-Bouchet followed in her tracks some 9.6s behind to claim silver for France, while a solid performance from the German team saw them claim the final spot on the podium in Kontiolahti.

There was disappointment for last season’s champions Norway, with six missed shots from Tiril Eckhoff on the second leg seeing them having to come from near the back of the field to rescue an eighth-placed finish.

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