Tag Archives: Biathlon

I(BU) got new rules, I count’em!

New things are happening in biathlon this season. They had one of those congress things back in September and the powers that be have made some changes. Even though in general we fear change, some of these aren’t so scary!

Firstly they have introduced a new event! OK so it’s not exactly new it’s just a bigger Mass Start. It means there will be 60 starters instead of 30. That’s madness I hear you cry – they will never all fit on the range! And you would be right but actually they don’t have to.

There is a sneaky way around this problem and it’s this – everyone skis the first lap together with the inevitable falls and pole breakages, but then only the first 30 stop to shoot and the second 30 keep skiing. At the end of the second lap the second 30 stop to shoot and the first 30 continue to ski. If all goes to plan most of the biathletes will have missed targets and we won’t have 60 biathletes descending on shoot two altogether! After the first two shoots are over (basically everyone’s first prone) then the race continues like a normal one and they all shoot the other prone and two stands together. Or more simply:

Bib 1-30 = lap-shoot1-lap-lap-shoot2-lap-shoot3-lap-shoot4-lap.
Bib 31-60 = lap-lap-shoot1-lap-shoot2-lap-shoot3-lap-shoot4-lap.

This will only be held on the IBU Cup this season and only in Martell at the final round. It won’t be replacing the 30 person mass start ….yet! Also it will be formally known at the Massive Start – well by biathlon23 anyway! 😉

The IBU have also made a small change to the Individual. If the conditions are bad, like rubbish weather or rubbish snow, they will have the option of shortening the races. For the men it will be 15km instead of 20km and the penalty for a miss will be 45 seconds instead of a minute. For the women it will be 12.5km and a 45 second penalty. This will make the person with the calculator at the side of the tracks job much harder when trying to work out the times! 😉

There are a few rule changes too. It seems that someone high up must read my blog as one of my Big Biathlon questions has been answered already. In the Mixed and Single Mixed Relay there is now the option of the men starting first instead of the women always starting on leg 1.

Weirdly the Juniors have all got older! The Juniors will have their own Nations Cup this season and you can be a Junior and a Youth for a year longer which means Olympic gold medallist Sebastian Samuelsson can still be a Junior. Get him on the Junior Cup Sweden!

Electronic targets are now allowed at IBU events. So exciting! 😉

Finally there has been some changes to the start quotas and wild cards for the World Cups, one of which I don’t really understand but here goes…

The Total Score winners from the IBU Cup will now get a start at the first round of the World Cup in the next season. The best Junior athletes at the Junior World Championships will get a start in the IBU World Cup finals in the same season.

The Top 8 athletes on the IBU qualifying points list who are not from a country that already has a World Cup quota will get a National Federation wildcard. A maximum of two wildcards per federation can be given in a single trimester. Got that? Yep, me neither!

Oh and they appointed a new President, Olle Dahlin from Sweden. But seeing as I was overlooked yet again it is not of interest to me!!! 😉

P.S Thanks to Dua Lipa for inspiring the title! 😉

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My Big Biathlon Questions!

I have been thinking, which is both unusual and dangerous! I have come up with some questions about biathlon mainly because certain people have failed to respond to their biathlon23 interview request so I had to write something!

How will the Olympic quotas change for Beijing 2022?

You may have heard that the IOC are cutting 20 places from biathlon at the Olympics. This is supposed to be a cost cutting exercise to reduce the money spent by host cities. It will save about 10 pence! The big costs of hosting the Olympics is paying for new infrastructure like stadiums, venues and road and rail transport. Surely they should be increasing the number of athletes not decreasing it.

They are keen to increase gender equality which is a good thing but biathlon is probably one of the most gender equal sports with the same amount of races for men and women and a mixed event. So that makes no sense either!

Unfortunately for them it now falls to the IBU to decide where the cuts will have to be made. I don’t think it will be China that loses any athletes as they are the host nation. Will they cut biathletes from the top ranked nations like Norway, Germany and France? Will they cut biathletes from the smaller nations who only send one or two competitors like Great Britain?

My guess is the axe will probably fall in the middle somewhere. Who knows? I am glad I don’t have to decide.

Why did the IOC reject the Single Mixed Relay as a new Olympic event?

The IOC has approved new Mixed events in freestyle skiing, ski jumping, skating and snowboarding to promote gender balance in the Games. However they rejected the Single Mixed Relay. This is rubbish! It means the small nations will not get a chance to race in a Relay at all. It is an exciting race and shorter than the Mixed Relay and is good for TV.

I mean why do they even have other sports in the Olympics anyway. It should be a biathlon only event! ( Well I may also allow curling!) 😉

Why is the skiing distance different for men and women?

I am sure the eagle eyed among you have noticed that the male biathletes ski further than the women in every race. For example in the Sprint the men do 10km while the women do 7.5km. I have never understood this. The women can ski as far as the men. Sure it might take them longer but they are not racing each other. The women race the women so why the shorter distance? I imagine it’s because in olden times the poor ladies were not deemed strong enough to ski so far!!! In athletics everyone runs 10km or 5km, there is no difference. The men and women receive equal prize money so surely they should ski the same distances! It could either mean shortening the men’s races or lengthening the women’s races but it’s something to think about.

Why are the Mixed Relays always women first and then the men?

Again why do we have woman, woman, man, man (WWMM) in the Mixed Relay and woman, man (WM) in the Single Mixed? Why can’t the men start for a change? Or why don’t we have WMWM or MWMW or even MMWW? And like before why do they have to ski different distances?
In swimming they have Mixed Relays and each team selects when the men or the women race so you have situations where the men and women are racing each other. It’s really exciting and interesting. Imagine we could have Laura Dahlmeier racing Martin Fourcade! The differences would balance out as everyone has to race two men and two women but the teams decide the order independently of each other. Just think Johannes Boe versus Kaisa Makarainen!

I told you it was dangerous when I think! Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it nice please! And if you have any burning biathlon questions throw them out there too! 🙂

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Wojciech Janik: The Interview!

Wojciech Janik is a Polish biathlete. The 18-year-old was born in Wałbrzych and has competed on the Junior World Cup, at the Junior European Championships and also at the Youth World Championships. His best result to date is a 7th place in Otepaa, Estonia in the Youth Individual race from last season’s World Championships. His older brother Mateusz is also a biathlete and they are now the first brothers to have both done a Biathlon23 Interview! 🙂

Follow Wojtek on Twitter: @wojtekjaniks
Like his Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/wojtekbiathlon/

Why did you become a biathlete?

I think that the adventure with biathlon began mainly from the big sporting traditions that my family has.

You finished 7th in the Individual at the Youth World Championships. Can you tell me about the race? How did you feel at the end?

It was an amazing race for me, at the last shooting I missed the first shot which buried my dreams for a medal, but I came to the World Championships with the intention to enter the Top 10. At the finish when I saw the results I could not believe that so many were missing the medals, I gave everything on the track but it was not enough. I know that I still have to train a lot and return to the World Cup next year even stronger.

You competed on the Junior World Cup last season. Was it a good experience for you?

It was a very big and good experience for me because it was my debut in the international arena.

Your brother Mateusz is also a biathlete. Do you train together? Does he give you any advice?

We always train together when we’re at home between national assemblies. When I was little, Mateusz was my idol and I wanted to do everything that he did and thanks to him I became a biathlete. Mateusz so far has given me tips that I try to use in every situation.

How do you balance training and competing with your education and social life? Are there things you would like to do but can’t because of training?

I am a person who puts 100% into sports and nothing else matters to me. My family and friends understand it and support me in it.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My strong point is definitely to endure a high training load. When it is really hard to train, I start to enjoy it and give it more. My weakness is the pressure which I sometimes do not handle as well as I could and I know I still have to work a lot on that.


What are your goals for this season?


My goal for this season, of course, is to compete for Youth World Championships medals, but my main goal is to get to the Olympic Games in 2022 in Beijing.

Who is your favourite biathlete (past or present) and why?

It is Ondrej Moravec. I am impressed with his running technique, his character as an athlete and of course his results.

Describe yourself in three words.
Determined, Strong, Hopeful

Quick fire Questions:
Favourite biathlon nation (not your own): Norway
Favourite rifle design (any biathlete): Marketa Davidova
Favourite ski suit design (from any nation): Czech Republic
Favourite shooting range: Nové Město na Moravě
Lucky bib number: 23
Funniest biathlete on the World/IBU/Junior Cup: Kuba štvrtecký
Best thing about being a biathlete: Satisfaction with sports results.

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Tyumen 2018: The Mass Starts!

WOW! What a final race day in Tyumen! The World Cup finished with a bang! With a first time winner, personal best podium finishers and the Overall Title going to the last lap of the last race it begs the question – why are we ending the season? It just got good! 😉

The men raced first in what was a very tasty starter before the main event of the women’s showdown for the Overall Title. It was a fabulous Mass Start with 11 men still in contention for victory at the final shoot. It was necessary to shoot clean to have a chance of winning this one and Erlend Bjoentegaard, Maxim Tsvetkov, Jakov Fak and the Boe bros did just that.

It was Tsvetkov with the support of the home crowd who managed to grab a lead and held it to the line. It was his first ever World Cup win and to do it on home soil in that style was great. He hit 20/20 as did Bjoentegaard who got his personal best finish and third went to Johannes Boe with 2 misses.

Benedikt Doll was 4th, Henrik L’Abee Lund 5th and Tarjei Boe 6th. Martin Fourcade had a day off missing 4 targets and finished in 19th place. He missed the chance to finish on the podium in every World Cup race he started this season. Maybe he isn’t so good after all!!! 😉

If you thought that was good the women’s race was amazing! All eyes were on Anastasiya Kuzmina and Kaisa Makarainen to see who would lift the big crystal globe. However with that kind of pressure neither of them could take the win.

That went to Darya Domracheva. She missed 1 target but was too strong on the skis for Paulina Fialkova and Anais Chevalier who had left the final shoot in the lead. She skied past them both to take the win. Fialkova held on for second hitting 19/20, her best finish on the World Cup, and Chevalier was third hitting 20/20.

Vanessa Hinz was 4th, Franziska Pruess 5th and Kaisa took 6th.

It was an incredible race from the Finn. She was close to Kuzmina throughout the race until the third shoot when she missed 2 shots and Kuzmina 1. On the final shoot Kuzmina missed again but Kaisa cleaned. They were neck and neck when Kaisa left the range and Kuzmina came off the penalty loop.

It was there that Kaisa took off. She had too much strength for Kuzmina who eventually finished 11th. Makarainen pushed herself to the limit and beyond to take the Overall Title, her third, but just 3 points! She also won the small globe for the Mass Start.

That brings the season to an end but look out for my season reviews for the men, women and biathlete23 as well as a little item I like to call THE BIATHLON23 AWARDS!!!

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Tyumen 2018: The Sprints!

It’s the final weekend of the World Cup already! How did that happen?

We are in Tyumen. Well some people are and some people are not. As Russia is not yet compliant with anti-doping rules some biathletes have chosen to boycott the final World Cup round. Also all the samples from the biathletes taken here will be sent back to Germany for testing. Wouldn’t like to be sitting next to the person on the plane who has all the urine samples in their hand luggage!!

Anyway back to the racing. The final Sprints took place on Thursday and Friday. The men raced first and in a massive shock Martin Fourcade won the race! I mean when does that happen? Oh yes every weekend that’s right! The man is phenomenal!

He shot clean and skied fast to take the victory by 33 seconds. Second place was a bit of a surprise though with Simon Desthieux getting his first ever podium finish. He also shot clean and finished just 0.3 of a second ahead of Freddie Lindstrom who was third.

The shooting conditions were ideal with the top seven finishers hitting 10/10. Someone who didn’t however was Johannes Boe. He managed to miss 2 on the prone to throw away his chances of winning the sprint crystal globe!

Andrejs Rastorgujevs was 4th, Erik Lesser 5th and Maxim Tsvetkov and Quentin Fillon Maillet tied for 6th place.

Martin Fourcade won the Sprint title by just 2 points in the end from Johannes Boe. He also secured the Overall Title for the seventh year in a row. I have decided that he is quite good at biathlon! 😉

The Women raced on Friday and it was a really close run thing which doesn’t happen that often in the Sprints. Darya Domracheva won this one hitting 10/10 to beat Kaisa Makarainen by just 1.2 seconds. Kaisa also hit the perfect 10. Third place went to Tiril Eckhoff who missed 1 target in the prone.

Anais Bescond was 4th, Lisa Vittozzi 5th and Laura Dahlmeier was 6th.

Anastasiya Kuzmina was 12th with 3 misses but it was enough to give her the Sprint title and the small crystal globe. The fight for the Overall Title continues to the Pursuit.

There was also some personal bests today for Estonia’s Meril Beilmann and Regina Oja in 40th and 50th. Moldovia’s Anna Ghilenko was 60th meaning she qualified for her first ever Pursuit.

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Junior World Champs: Otepaa 2018!

Freezing! That was the exact temperature in Otepaa, Estonia for the first race in the Junior World Championships. After a bit of rescheduling the Relays were the first races on Tuesday.

The women’s 3x6km relay went to the French team of Camille Bened, Myrtille Begue and and Lou Jeanmonnot Laurent. The did 1 penalty loop but beat the Norwegian team to gold. Une Tronerod, Emilie Kalkenberg and Kjersti Dengerud incurred 2 penalty loops on their way to the silver medal. The bronze went to the Russian team of Polina Shevnina, Emma Timerbulatova and Valeriia Vasnetkova who also went around the penalty loop twice.

The men’s 4×7.5km relay was won by a strong Russian team of Said Khalili, Vasilii Tomshin, Viacheslav Maleev and Igor Malinovskii. They used just 9 spares beating Norway by 57 seconds. The team of Sivert Bakken, Johannes Dale, Endre Stroemsheim and Sturla Laegreid won silver despite 3 penalty loops. The bronze went to the French team of Hugo Rivail, Emilien Claude, Morgan Lamure and Martin Perrillat Bottonet who did 2 penalty loops.

The second race for the Juniors was the Individual. It was slightly warmer at -10 degrees!! There were also wind gusts in the range. The women’s race went to Poland with Kamila Zuk winning the gold medal. She won by a massive 3 minutes hitting 18/20. The silver medal went to Anna Kryvonos from the Ukraine also with 2 misses. The bronze medal went to Russia’s Irina Kazakevich who hit 17/20.

The men’s race was won by Igor Malinovskii who hit 17/20 and finished 19 seconds ahead of Norway’s Sturla Laegreid who had the same shooting score. The bronze medal also went to Russia with Said Khalili hitting 18/20.

The Sprint races were held on Saturday and Kamila Zuk made it a golden double for herself and Poland. She hit 9/10 and won the race by 26 seconds. The silver medal went to Marketa Davidova from the Czech Republic with 8/10 hits and the bronze went to France with Myrtille Begue who hit the perfect 10/10.

The men’s race was won by Russia but this time it was Vasilii Tomshin who took gold hitting 10/10 to take a 20 second lead into the Pursuit. The silver medal went to Frenchman Martin Perrillat Bottonet who missed 1 target and Norway’s Sverre Aspenes grabbed the bronze despite missing 2 targets.

The pursuits were held on Sunday and this time Marketa Davidova took the gold medal. She hit 16/20 but it was enough to pass Kamila Zuk who had to settle for silver this time with 6 misses. Myrtille Begue missed 3 shots but maintained her third place finish to take another bronze medal.

In the men’s race Sverre Aspenes moved up from third to take the gold medal hitting the perfect 20/20. Martin Perrillat Bottonet stayed in second to get another silver medal hitting 19/20. The bronze also went to Norway with Johannes Dale moving from 5th to 3rd despite missing 4 targets.

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Youth World Champs: Otepaa 2018!

After all the biathlon pensioners took part in the Winter Olympics it was time for the youths to shine at the Youth World Championships in Otepaa, Estonia.

It was a cold start for the first two races, the women’s and men’s Individuals. Sweden’s Elvira Oberg won the women’s race on her 19th birthday. She is the younger sister of Hanna and now they both have a gold medal so there should be no fighting at the Oberg residence! She hit 19/20 to win by 35 seconds. Russian Anastasiya Shevchenko took the silver medal with 18/20 and the bronze went to her teammate Anastasiia Goreeva who hit 17/20.

In the men’s race Mikhail Pervushin won the gold medal also with 19/20. The 19-year-old Russian beat Norway’s Filip Andersen by 12 seconds. Andersen also hit 19/20 to take the silver ahead of the amazingly named Frenchman Martin Bourgeois Republique who hit 18/20 to win bronze.

It was still freezing on Wednesday for the relays. The women’s race went down to the line with a sprint finish between Sweden and Finland. It was Elvira Oberg who won it giving Sweden the gold and making it a golden double for her. Along with teammates Amanda Lundstroem and Ella Halvarsson they needed just 6 spares on the range. The Finnish team of Jenni Keranen, Kaisa Keranen and Heidi Nikkinen went on the penalty loop twice. Bronze went to Norway with a team of Marte Johansen, Sigrid Vig and Juni Arnekleiv who also went two times around the penalty loop.

In the men’s race it was Russia who took the gold with Denis Tashtimerov, Andrei Viukhin and Mikhail Pervushin despite two penalty loops. It meant double gold for Pervushkin too. The Czech team took the silver with just 7 spares needed by Vitezslav Hornig, Tomas Mikyska and Mikulas Karlik. The bronze went to Norway’s team of Eirik Gerhardsen, Martin Alfheim and Filip Andersen.

The Sprint races took place on Friday and it was treble gold for our two young champions Elvira Oberg and Mikhail Pervushkin. Oberg missed 1 shot but still managed to win by 13 seconds. Silver went to Heidi Nikkinen also with 1 missed target. A clean shoot won Amanda Lundstroem the bronze.

Pervushkin won his third gold with 10/10 on the range and a 21 second lead to take into the Pursuit. Silver went to Italy’s Tommaso Giacomel who also shot clean. The bronze went to Vitezslav Hornig who had 1 miss.

The final races were the Pursuits on Sunday. None of the medallists from the women’s sprint could hold on to their places and the gold medal went to Anastasiia Goreeva who started 4th. Despite missing 3 targets she took the win by 17.5 seconds. With just 1 miss Germany’s Franziska Pfnuer came from 14th to win the silver medal and the bronze went to Amy Baserga of Switzerland. She came from 16th hitting 18/20 to finish third.

The men’s pursuit was a clean sweep for Russia. Andrei Viukhin went from 7th to 1st even though he missed 4 targets. He knocked teammate Mikhail Pervushkin off the top of the podium for the first time this week. He had to settle for silver after also missing 4 shots. The bronze went to Aleksei Ogorelkov who hit 18/20 and went from 12th to 3rd.

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