By Liam Morgan

The Russian quartet were the winners of the first mens race at the IBU World Cup in OberhofRussia's Anton Shipulin left it late before surging past Norwegian rival Ole Einar Bjørndalen to give his country victory in the 4x7.5 kilometres relay on the second day of the International Biathlon Union World Cup in Oberhof, Germany.

The Russian quartet - made up of Evgeniy Garanichev, Timofey Lapshin, Dmitry Malyshko and Shipulin - produced a decent performance before Shipulin made his move late on in the final leg to seal a dramatic win.

Norway's team of Vetle Sjastad Christiansen, Alexander Os, International Olympic Committee member Björndalen and Johannes Thingnes Boe claimed second, while France were third and host nation Germany finished in fourth place.

Ukraine, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland and Estonia rounded off the top 10.

The first men's race of the event was jam-packed full of incident as the opening leg included four crashes owing to the tough conditions, with the worst being sustained by Michal Krcmar of Czech Republic, who eventually had to withdraw.

Russia, France and Latvia were the three in the lead group during the first leg, with Norway a further 10 seconds back, and that gap was to grow during the second exchange.

However Lapshin and Frenchman Jean Guillaume Beatrix stayed side-by-side throughout, often trading positions.

Anton Shipulin was the star performer for the victorious Russian teamAnton Shipulin was the star performer for the victorious Russian team ©Getty Images

The third leg was largely dominated by the Norwegians as Johannes Thingnes Boe began to take over, and he managed to open up a gap on nearest challenger Simon Desthieux of France.

Boe stretched his lead to 46 seconds over his two rivals and it seemed as though the Norwegians would cruise to a comfortable win.

But with Switzerland a full three minutes back, one of the top four was going to emerge victorious and it proved to be Russia as Shipulin gradually closed the gap on the Norwegian.

With 700 metres to go, he was 4.1 seconds behind before he eventually overtook as the pair entered the stadium, and he then strolled to a superb win.

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