Norway's Sverre Dahlen Aspenes claimed the biggest victory of his career in Arber ©IBU

Norway's Sverre Dahlen Aspenes claimed the biggest victory of his career as he won the gold medal in the men's individual event at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Open European Championships in Arber.

Aspenes clawed back a considerable deficit to Russia's Anton Babikov after the final shooting phase before crossing the line in 51min 32.1sec.

The 24-year-old Norwegian completed the 20 kilometres course 11.6sec quicker than Babikov, who had to settle for silver after getting himself into a strong position for victory.

Third place went to Matthias Dorfer of Germany, who finished more than a minute behind the triumphant Norwegian.

Babikov's second-place result saw him clinch the overall individual IBU Cup title.

"It is really over the expectations," said Aspenes.

"I was really looking forward to this European Championship and I was thinking that I've been really confident in the shooting range recently and I knew that I could do a great performance. 

"The first focus was to shoot well and I felt really in control on the shooting range."

Russia’s Evgeniia Burtasova won the women's 15km individual event in a time of 44:22.9.

Burtasova ended 12.1 clear of Moldova's Alina Stremous in second, while Natalia Gerbulova of Russia was third, a further 4.3 back.

Victory for Burtasova saw her take the lead in the race for the women's overall crystal globe on the IBU Cup circuit, the second-tier series behind the World Cup.

The Open European Championships at the German venue are due to continue on Friday (January 28) following a rest day tomorrow.