Benedikt Doll earns his first World Championship gold medal, while Ole Einar Bjørndalen collects his 45th medal.

Benedikt Doll (GER) won the 10km sprint at the IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT) - hist 1st individual World Championship medal. Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll (GER) won the 10km sprint at the IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT) – hist 1st individual World Championship medal. Photo: Nordic Focus

Germany opened the 2017 IBU Biathlon World Championships in Hochflizen (AUT) on the top of the podium as Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to gold in the mixed relay, the first event at the championships.

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Vanessa Hinz (GER) helped Germany to gold in the mixed relay the opening event at the 2017 IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT). Here from the pursuit on Sunday Photo: Nordic Focus

Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to gold in the mixed relay the opening event at the 2017 IBU world championships in Hochfilzen (AUT). Here from the pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

First individual gold medal
On Saturday, Benedikt Doll (GER) went all the way to the top of the podium. He didn’t miss a single target in the men’s 10km sprint. He raced faster than he ever has, and won his first individual World Championships gold medal with a 0.7 second margin.

“It’s amazing. It’s unreal. First place feels really special,” Doll said to reporters after his race.

It was only the third time in his entire career that Doll shot clean.

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Benedikt Doll (GER) hauled into gold in the sprint on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll (GER) hauled into gold in the sprint on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

The king delivers
On Sunday, Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR) won his 45th World Championship medal, hauling into third place in the pursuit. He started in eighth place, almost 40 seconds behind Doll.

“I have many medals, but this is a brand new one and this was a victory for me,” Bjørndalen said after his race.

“That means a lot for the rest of the championships, and I’m excited. If you have the perfect day, it doesn’t matter what the event is. But everything has to fall into place. I hope to do it again this week.”

The IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen (AUT) continues with the women’s 15km individual competition on Wednesday, the men’s 20km individual competition on Thursday, the women’s relay on Friday, men’s relay on Saturday and concludes with mass start events for both men and women on Sunday.

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) earned his 45th World Championship medal in the pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) earned his 45th World Championship medal in the pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus