Well the season is over for another year. It hasn’t been the thrilling season we might have hoped for on the Men’s side but it has been a good one all the same. Martin Fourcade won the Overall Title for the fifth season in a row. He also won all the small Crystal globes in the Sprint, Pursuit, Individual and Mass Start for the second time in his career. Did I mention that he also won 4 gold medals at the World Championships in Oslo and rumour has it he may also be able to walk on water. OK the last one maybe beyond him but nothing is out of his reach in biathlon.
It has been an incredible season for Martin. He has proved beyond a doubt that he is one of the greatest biathletes of all time and he is only 27. He still has time to win a lot more in the sport. He didn’t face much serious competition in the Total Score winning it in the end by an incredible 331 points from Johannes Boe in second.Anton Shipulin was third and Simon Schempp fourth. It’s hard to blame the other biathletes for this as he was on unstoppable form.
However an early Norwegian challenge came from Tarjei Boe who was pretty consistent through the season but didn’t win any races. Simon Schempp suffered a lot from illness and Anton Shipulin from a loss of form. Martin Fourcade would have won anyway but it would have been great to see him pushed a little bit more.
We did see some new winners on the World Cup this season which is always good. Jean Guillaume Beatrix won the Mass Start in Pokljuka and Dominik Windisch won it in Canmore and Erik Lesser in Ruhpolding. Julian Eberhard won the final Sprint race in Khanty-Mansiysk. Ole Einar won the first race of the season in Oestersund proving he is still a master of the sport and he backed it up with 4 medals at the World Championships.
Simon Eder had a good season winning a Pursuit race and a bronze medal in Oslo. The rest of the wins were shared between Fourcade, Simon Schempp, Johannes Thingnes Boe and Anton Shipulin.
Some biathletes also improved a lot over the season. Michal Krcmar of the Czech Republic had a terrific year with some great shooting and a 5th place in the World Championship Individual. Switzerland’s Serafin Wiestner has also made a step forward getting his first Top 5 finish on the World Cup. Quentin Fillon Maillet had a fantastic start to the season and had a lot of Top 10 finishes. Evgeniy Garanichev had his best season in a while finishing 7th in the Total Score and winning 2 gold medals at the European Championships in Tyumen.
The Men’s Relay’s on the World Cup were won by Russia and Norway.The USA also had good year with several Top 6 finishes.In Oslo at the World Championships Norway won gold and an amazing performance from Canada saw them win the bronze.
Overall the Men’s World Cup has been a good one but the dominance of Martin Fourcade means that it hasn’t been that exciting. I would love to see him really pushed for the title and hopefully if Simon Schempp can stay illness free, Anton Shipulin regains his form and Johannes Boe can improve his consistency it could happen next year. However that is easier said than done! If they can at least close the gap to Fourcade it will be better to watch because otherwise the Women’s World Cup is going to steal the show…again!
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