02/07/2015 03:07 EST | Updated 04/09/2015 05:59 EDT

Nathan Smith has career-best Biathlon World Cup finish

Canada's Nathan Smith had a career-best seventh-place finish at the Biathlon World Cup in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic on Saturday.

The Calgary native shot clean while clocking a time of 24 minutes, 47.6 seconds in the men’s 10-kilometre sprint competition on a challenging Czech course. 

Smith represented Canada in his first Olympics last year. The 29-year-old had three top-15 finishes in Sochi, and has five top-10 finishes in World Cup competitions over the past two years. 

Everyone who reached the podium shot clean, so speed was the difference maker in a competitive field. Smith clocked in at just 12 seconds off medal-winning pace.  

“Today the top men shot amazingly well which makes for a very tough day to medal when you aren’t within the top-five or 10 skiers,” added Smith.

“A medal may have been possible if I’d also had the ski of my life today, however, the odds of perfect shooting and skiing coming together are pretty low. A more likely way to grab a first podium is to put yourself in a position where you can capitalize on a day when the favourites falter.”

Slovenia’s Jakov Fak won the race with a time of 24:09.9, ahead of Germany’s Simon Schempp and France's Jean Guillaume.