The Canadian men's relay squad battled their way onto the podium at the biathlon world championships in Norway on Saturday.

Christian Gow, Nathan Smith, Scott Gow, and Brendan Green teamed up to capture a rare bronze in Holmenkollenn -- the first relay medal won by Canadian biathletes at worlds.

"This is a race we would dream about, and the dream came true today," Christian Gow, of Calgary, said. "The whole thing is just incredible."

Norway won the event in a time of one hour, 13 minutes and 16.8 seconds. Germany was 11.5 seconds back for silver. Canada finished 23.4 seconds behind the winners.

Gow skied a personal best opening leg and shot clean, finishing just 14 seconds behind the leaders.

"That was the best performance in my life," Gow said. "All I wanted to do was to put the team in a good position. I took some risks and really went for it.  I almost zoned out in my shooting and just let it happen."

Gow handed off to the leader of the men's team, Nathan Smith, in seventh spot. The 30-year-old Calgary native put down the fastest ski time in the second leg to catapult the Canadians into medal contention.

"We knew we could pull off a good result, but we never thought we'd win a medal," said Smith, who became the first Canadian male to step onto the world championship biathlon podium when he won a silver medal in the sprint race one year ago.

"It is not easy to compare last year with this medal. With the entire team involved, I think this is a bigger accomplishment for our small sport. And to do it in front of these large crowds in the heartland of biathlon, is an amazing feeling."

Scott Gow held the Canadians in third before handing off to anchor Brendan Green, who sealed the podium finish for his country. 

"What an incredible day. It is the culmination of a lot of work. We are a small, tight community and I think this result allows us to realize our potential and what is possible," Green said.