Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen celebrates as he crosses the finish line to secure gold for Norway ©Getty Images

Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen pulled off a flawless final leg as Norway came from behind to snatch the men’s 4x7.5 kilometres relay gold at the Winter Olympics here.

Eduard Latypov misfired at the final shooting stage as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) surrendered their lead, allowing Christiansen’s Norway to clinch the title at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre.

Norway were 43 seconds behind the ROC before Christiansen hit all 10 of the targets to help his team overcome the ROC.

Christiansen, Sturla Holm Lægreid, Tarjei Bø and Johannes Thingnes Bø earned gold in 1hr 19min 50.2sec with one penalty and seven spare rounds.

While Christiansen delivered a dead-eye display at the shooting range, Latypov put together a series of misses, using all three spare rounds and picking up two penalty loops to end the ROC’s gold medal hopes.

The ROC finished on 1:20.355 with two penalties and six spare rounds as they dropped to third position, slipping behind Norway and France.

Anchored by Olympic pursuit and individual gold medallist Quentin Fillon Maillet, France had nine spare rounds to take silver in 1:20:17.9.

Christiansen said a change of mindset during his final leg played a key role in steering Norway to their fifth biathlon gold of the Games.

"I felt really calm despite the strange situation we were in," said Christiansen.

"My feeling was that we were three teams fighting for second third and this fourth place.

"That is what we did not want, this fourth place.

Eduard Latypov slumps to the ground after his error-strewn display cost the ROC dear ©Getty Images
Eduard Latypov slumps to the ground after his error-strewn display cost the ROC dear ©Getty Images

"It was a big, big pressure to catch this medal.

"When we entered the last shooting stage, I saw and think we all saw that Latypov missed four.

"There was a change in mindset, I went from completely defensive to completely attacking mode for a gold medal.

"This was a possibility we were given, an extra bonus that we could fight for the gold medal that we did not think we had a chance to fight for.

"I was completely in my own world.

"I am very happy that we managed to do this turnaround."

Latypov blamed windy conditions for his crucial misses at the shooting range as he pleaded for forgiveness.

"Everything can turn around in one shooting bout," said Latypov.

"I hope that this will make me stronger.

"I hope for it and I believe in it.

"There was this gust of wind and my feeling was not so good, the concentration was not what I wanted it to be.

"That with the gusts of winds made me make the misses.

"I tried to change things up, but here it was more of a psychological issue.

"With the spare bullets, I was a bit more relaxed and I was able to close the targets, the wind died down and I was more or less able to do well, but by that point all the advantage we had was lost."

Maillet made history by becoming the first-ever biathlete to win five medals in a single Winter Olympics.

"It's incredible, I never expected it," added Maillet.