Season Review 2019/20: Para biathlon!

Yury Holub

Just when para biathlon finally gets it’s own World Championships without a cross country skier in sight along comes a global pandemic and it gets cancelled!!! What are the chances?!

Normally the para nordic world championships are with both biathlon and cross country but this season it was going to be biathlon only – the dream! However they were cancelled the night before they were due to start in Oestersund. It’s a shame but the health and safety of the world comes first and there will be more chances to hold them in the future.

Before that anti-climax there were three World Cup rounds in Lillehammer, Altenberg and Finsterau. How very biathlon – Norway and two rounds in Germany! 😉

As you know there are three categories in para biathlon; sitting, standing and visually impaired (VI) and they are for both men and women so you get six races a day and six world cup winners! In your face IBU! 😉

Taking his first world cup title in biathlon in the visually impaired category was Yury Holub from Belarus. He won two out of the seven races across the season and was consistently on the podium which ensured he would win the crystal globe in a very competitive field. In the women’s VI it was Russia’s Vera Khlyzova who was victorious overall.

In fact Russia took three world cup titles this season on the team’s return to action after being banned due to the ‘Sochi shenanigans’.

Vladislav Lekomtsev dominated the men’s standing with 5 wins from 7 races reminding everyone what a tough customer he is! The men’s sitting saw simliar success for Ivan Golubkov who won four races to clinch the crystal globe ahead of Martin Fleig of Germany.

The women’s standing went to Ukraine who have many talented biathletes in this category. Oleksandra Kononova took the title for the second year in a row fighting off competition from teammate Iryna Bui.

The women’s sitting title went to American sharpshooter Kendall Gretsch who makes Annie Oakley look like an average shot! 😉 She also claimed the crystal globe for the second season in succession winning four of the seven races.

Next season the biathlon world championships will be held in Lillehammer in February 2021 – hopefully!

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