Nathan Smith of Calgary became the first Canadian man to win a medal at the Biathlon World Championships.

The 29-year old skied and shot his way to his first ever elite-level podium in the men’s sprint race in Kontiolahti, Finland. Smith finished the 10km race in a time of 24:24.9 to secure the silver medal.

Smith, who competed in his first Olympics at Sochi 2014said after the race: “It is just surreal. I had a strong relay earlier in the week so I had good feelings about today, but never expected to do this at all.”

RELATED: Osborne-Paradis skis to second World Cup silver
RELATED: Skeleton rookie Elisabeth Vathje wins world champs bronze

Smith joins elite company with the medal. The only other Canadian to have won a medal at the IBU World Championships is Olympic biathlon hero Myriam Bédard, who won a gold and a silver medal at the 1993 worlds in Borovets, Bulgaria.

RELATED: Getting to know… Finland

Smith is the second Canadian male to have reached the podium at an elite-level. Olympian Jean Philippe Le Guellec won a gold medal at a 2012 World Cup stop in Oestersund, Sweden.