02/15/2015 05:28 EST | Updated 04/17/2015 05:59 EDT

Canadian men race to a best-ever fifth in World Cup biathlon relay

OSLO - Canada's men's biathlon team finished just shy of the podium in posting a best-ever fifth-place finish in a World Cup on Sunday.

Calgary brothers Christian and Scott Gow and Nathan Smith, also of Calgary, led the charge in the 4x7.5-kilometre relay before handing off to Brendan Green, of Hay River, N.W.T., who brought the Canadians home in a time of one hour 17 minutes 52.4 seconds.

"Today was a really strong race for the team. We each executed solid performances during our legs of the relay, and the end result was a personal best day for Canada," said Green. "I think we all knew that we had the potential for a good result, and being able to bring out our best today in the last race before world championships is really positive for the team."

Russia set the pace, winning in 1:16:16.6. Germany was second with 1:16:16.8, while Austria crossed third in 1:17:07.5.

Canada's fifth is a best-ever in the history of the men's program.

"We're all really happy with today's result and are looking forward to what the rest of the season will bring, especially with world championships fast approaching," Green said. "It's been a lot of racing over the last month. We're all a little tired and looking forward to a short and well deserved break before starting our pre-worlds training camp in a few days."

Olympic veterans Megan Heinicke of Prince George, B.C., and Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., plus Quebec's Audrey Vaillancourt and Sarah Beaudry, of Prince George, B.C., teamed up for an eighth-place finish in the women's race.

The Czech Republic won the women's 4x6-kilometre race, Italy was second, while France crossed third.