Quentin Fillon Maillet of France wins the men's sprint 10 kilometres competition in Otepää, Estonia ©Getty Images

France's Quentin Fillon Maillet secured victory in the men's 10 kilometres sprint on the first day of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Otepää, Estonia.

The 29-year-old overtook Norway’s early leader Sturla Holm Laegreid to win the event in a time of 22mins 27.4secs.

Laegreid managed to come 7.2 seconds back, while Benedikt Doll of Germany finished in third, 11.1 seconds back.

Despite not winning the long-awaited gold medal, Laegreid did not lose his enthusiasm with the event.

"Otepää has always been a good place for me, even four years ago I got my first medals here," he said.

At the moment, Fillon-Maillet is the dominant performer in the sport having won five medals at the Beijing 2022 Olympics - two golds and three silvers.

He also dominates the men’s World Cup standings with 816 points, while his compatriot Émilien Jacquelin, remains in second place on 591.

Sebastian Samuelsson of Sweden is in third with 564 points.

In the women's standings, the rankings are led by Marte Olsbu Røiseland of Norway with 728 points followed by Sweden’s Elvira Öberg with 631.

Dinara Alimbekava of Belarus is in third with 589, but she will not be competing as part of measures introduced by the IBU in response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and Belarus.

The standings might change tomorrow as the competition is scheduled to continue with the women's sprint over 7.5 kilometres.

On Saturday (March 12), both the men and women have mass start races scheduled over 15km and 12.5km respectively, while both mixed relay and single mixed relay events will take place on Sunday (March 13), marking the end of the competition.