Martin Fourcade claims golden treble on opening weekend of Biathlon World Championships

France's Martin Fourcade has already claimed three golds at the Biathlon World Championships in Oslo, and still has three events lined up

Martin Fourcade claims golden treble on opening weekend of Biathlon World Championships
Martin Fourcade has dominated the opening stages of the Biathlon World Championships (image via: Twitter)

Frenchman Martin Fourcade has made the perfect start to the 2016 Biathlon World Championships, by winning all three gold medals available to him so far.

The world number one played a big role in France's mixed relay victory on day one of the Oslo championships, before following it up with victory in the sprint on Saturday and then the pursuit on Sunday.

Fourcade still has the possibility of winning three more golds during the remainder of the championship, which continues this week. 

Fourcade leads home successful mixed relay team

Last Thursday, the World Championships got underway with a mixed relay, which saw two men and two women compete as a team for each nation who qualified. 

Anais Bescond did not get the French off to the best of starts, ending her 6km leg in seventh place overall after missing three of ten targets, before handing over to teammate Marie Dorin-Habert

Habert got the French team back into contention, missing one shot in the standing position, handing over to Quentin Fillon Maillet in third place, just 0.4 seconds behind the leaders from Norway. Fillon Maillet performed well, moving up to second overall despite missing three of his targets.

The successful French mixed-relay team (image via: twitter)

It was then over to Fourcade to lead the side home, and he did so in style, missing just one of his ten targets. His 7.5km leg was the second fastest, and he skiied across the line with a lead of over four seconds from Germany who claimed silver ahead of Norway. 

Fourcade stays ahead of field to pick up sprint win

Saturday saw the 10km sprint race, which saw 102 competitors take to the Oslo circuit, and once all was said and done, it was Fourcade who posted the quickest time. 

Fourcade was the first man to take to the course after chosing for an early bid number which was afforded to them due to the relay victory two days previously. 

That call paid off big time, as Fourcade shot two clear rounds from the prone and standing positions at the range allowing him to post a time of 25:35.4, piling the pressure onto his opponents. 

Fourcade shot clear in his sprint victory (image via: twitter)

Nobody really came close to topping Fourcade's time, and it became a battle for silver which eventually landed with 42-year-old Biathlon legend Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, in what will possibly be his final event in the sport. The home favourite ended his 10km, 26.9 seconds behind Fourcade, with Ukraine's Sergey Semenov grabbing bronze. 

Fourcade completes hat-trick with pursuit success

The Frenchman's third gold of the championships came on Sunday, when he finished clear of the field to win the 12.5km pursuit race. 

Starting with the 27 second lead he had picked up in his sprint victory a day before, Fourcade was never once overtaken during the entire race to cap the perfect week. 

From the 20 shots Fourcade fired at the range, he missed just three targets, which did not allow his opponents enough time to catch him thanks to his superior speed on the skis. 

Once more, home favourite Bjoerndalen picked up a memorable silver medal, with his country-mate Emil Hegle Svendsen claiming the bronze. 

The men return to the course on Thursday for the 20km individual event, before following that up with a 4x7.5km relay on Saturday before the 15km mass start to bring a curtain down on the competition next Sunday.