Tove Alexandersson has overtaken Simona Aebersold in the World Cup standings with one individual race left ©IOF

Sweden’s Tove Alexandersson and Norway’s Kasper Harlem Fosser triumphed on the opening day of the International Orienteering Federation World Cup Final in Italy.

Alexandersson came out on top in the women’s long-distance race in the forests of in Cansiglio as she continues her quest for an seventh straight World Cup title.

The Swedish athlete completed the course in a winning time of 1 hour 20min 59sec - finishing almost six minutes ahead of Swiss rival Simona Aebersold, who came home in 1:26.41.

Third place went to Russian Natalia Gemperle who crossed the line in 1:27.10.

Coming into the final round of the season, Aebersold held a 15-point lead over Alexandersson in the World Cup standings.

But Alexandersson has now moved five points ahead of Aebersold with one individual competition remaining.

The pair will line up in Saturday’s (October 2) middle-distance event as Alexandersson bids to win a eighth straight World Cup title and Aebersold seeks to claim her first.

Fosser strengthened his position at the top of the World Cup leaderboard after winning the men’s long-distance race in 1:39.51.

There was all-Swiss battle for second spot, with Matthias Kyburz securing silver in 1:45.23 and Daniel Hubmann bagging bronze in 1:45.56.

Competition is due to continue on Saturday’s with middle-distance races before concluding on Sunday (October 3) with the sprint relay.