Ole Einar Bjoerndalen earned his 19th biathlon world championship title Saturday in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, as Norway lived up to its powerhouse status in the men's relay, winning the gold medal in the discipline for the fourth straight time.
Emil Hegle Svendsen anchored the Norwegian team to victory in the 4x7.5-kilometre race in one hour, 15 minutes, 39.0 seconds for his fourth gold at the championship.
"It was easy for me because the other guys did a perfect job," said Svendsen, who skipped Thursday's individual race because of a cold. "I felt physically good."
The 39-year-old Bjoerndalen, a six-time Olympic champion widely considered the sport's all-time great, earned his first gold of these worlds after racing the opening leg.
"It's really great," said Bjoerndalen, who missed three targets at the shooting range but skied fast and finished his leg third, just 4.1 seconds behind leading Germany. "I felt strong today."
Henrik L'Abee-Lund and Tarjei Boe were the remaining racers on the winning team.
France finished a distant second, one minute, 12.8 seconds behind, and Germany took the bronze, trailing Norway by 1:18.5.
The Canadian contingent led by Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, of Shannon, Que., Calgarians Scott Gow and Nathan Smith, along with Regina’s Scott Perras finished a season-best eighth, clocking a time of 1:18:44.7.
"All the relays this year have been this group of guys and we have tried different roles and have tried different roles, and have struggled through a few, but today made up for all of them," said Scott Perras in a press release. "The guys did a great job, and I just had to close the deal.
There was a lot of pressure on the last leg, but I thought if my three teammates can throw down great races then so can I. It ended up being a great day for us."
The championships will wrap up with mass start races on Sunday.