Well Spring was not much fun this year, was it? With most of us on lockdown there wasn’t much going on. Or was there? As you know biathlon never stops and even if the athletes were stuck at home there were still some things happening!
Firstly I have to say it was quite nice to not have to look at all the biathletes holiday pictures on social media having better vacations than we do, right!
As we all know (and haven’t recovered from yet) there were some big retirements at the end of last season with Kaisa Makarainen and Martin Fourcade both ending their careers. It kind of overshadowed all the other retirees but there were a lot of biathletes hanging up their rifles this spring.
Celia Aymonier was another French athlete to go along with Fourcade. Italy lost Thierry Chenal and Alexia Runggaldier. Michal Slesingr announced the end of his career in Nove Mesto and then Veronika Vitkova joined him after annoucing she was retiring and having a baby! Congratulations to her!
Alexey Volkov has finished being an athlete and is now a coach. Emily Dreissigacker has retired from the US team and
Terezia Poliakova from Slovakia has also called it a day. Austria’s Fabienne Hartweger has stopped at just 28 and earlier in the season Chardine Sloof the Dutch biathlete who later raced for Sweden finished her career at 27 as did France’s Myrtille Begue who has hung up her rifle at age 23.
It was also reported that Krasimir Anev has finished his career apparently to do with differences with the Bulgarian Biathlon Federation.
We don’t like retirements but there was good news from Norway when para biathlon legend Nils-Erik Ulset had a baby son called Olav. He can now join the 2043 Norwegian men’s super relay team alongside Magnus Svendsen and Gustav Boe!
It was also announced that Stina Nilsson, Sweden’s World and Olympic medallist in cross country skiing, has decided to become a biathlete! Imagine if you will a sprint finish between Eckhoff, Herrmann, Roeiseland, Wierer and Nilsson! OK so it’s not that likely to happen but it would be awesome! 😉
As usual in the biathlon off season the coaches packed up their bags and did a little shuffle up and down the range to join their new teams! Are there no new coaches in biathlon? They all just swap around every summer!
In France Franck Badiou left his postition as the women’s shooting coach to be replaced by Jean Paul Giachino. Giachino had previously worked (you guessed it) as the French women’s shooting coach!!!
Gerald Hoenig has left the German team to take over as the Austrian women’s shooting coach. He is replaced in the German team by Engelbert Sklorz.
Ondrej Rybar as well as being sporting director of the Czech team will also return to his role as head coach of the men’s team. Aleš Liguan will work as his assistant with Zdeněk Vitek moving to coach the IBU Cup team.
In Ukraine Juraj Sanitra will be head coach for both the men and women. Alexey Kravchenko and Roman Pryma will work as coaches for the men while Alexander Bilanenko and Igor Yashchenko will work with the women’s team.
Belarus have also made changes with former Austrian men’s coach Reinhard Gösweiner becoming the new women’s coach and
Andrei Padin the new coach of the men’s team.
Sweden have added an extra shooting coach, Jean Marc Chabloz, to the World Cup team.
Unfortunately the Summer World Championships have been cancelled this season due to corona virus. They were to have been held in Ruhpolding from the 19-23 August. This is mainly because all mass events in Germany have been cancelled until the 31st August.
The IBU congress has also been rescheduled from September to November in Prague so the delegates will have to wait a little longer for the freebies and the cheap beer!
The IBU also announced that it has joined the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework and have launched a new website for their new Biathlon Integrity Unit. Seriously the IBU and BIU! Get some new letters at least!
They also released some findings from their fan survey which showed that people would like an app to follow biathlon and also that 100% of fans want Biathlon23 to be the next IBU president. Disclaimer: the last result may not be entirely accurate!
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