Smith wins World Cup biathlon race in Russia

Two weeks after becoming the first Canadian male to win a medal at the Biathlon World Championships earning silver, Nathan Smith is on the podium again, this time on top of it in Russia.

At the World Cup event in Khanty-Mansiysk, Smith won the 12.5-kilometre pursuit on Saturday, his first at this level.

“It feels less surreal than last time,” Smith said in a Biathlon Canada release. “Winning the silver at worlds was overwhelming. But this is my first win. This is huge for me.”

The 29-year old also said he is confident that his results are a sign of things to come for Canada in biathlon.

“We have four athletes that are very close to the podium. Our funding partners look at World Championships for funding, this reaffirms it is not a fluke. Our program has depth.”

Prior to Smith, the only other Canadian male biathlete to win a World Cup medal was Jean-Philippe Le Guellec in the 2012-13 season.

RELATED: Nathan Smith wins historic silver at Biathlon worlds

Canadian Olympic legend Myriam Bédard won both World Championship and World Cup medals in biathlon when she was competing.

Smith beat Germany’s Benedikt Doll and Anton Shipulin of Russia for the gold on Saturday. Smith’s teammates Brendan Green was 23rd in the men’s event and Rosanna Crawford finished 13th in the women’s race.