Tag Archives: Ivan Golubkov

The Biathlon23 Awards 20/21!

Hello and welcome to the 8th annual Biathlon23 awards. The alternative awards for biathlon which represent the important things in the sport like the ski suits and rifle design. They are among the most prestigious and most sought after awards and this season there are a few new ones. It has been noted at Biathlon23 HQ, with outrage I might add, that many awards have now gone online like the Oscars and the Golden Globes! How dare they! The Biathlon23 awards have always been online and I resent these other so-called awards trying to get in on the action! Who even watches them anyway? As the famous saying goes: If it’s not biathlon, it’s crap!

The awards are of course subject to a rigorous system used to ensure fairness in the nominations and winners – I pick them and it’s totally biased! Read, enjoy and feel free to disagree! πŸ™‚

Most hits on the blog (so most popular):

I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. I made that up myself – good right! πŸ˜‰ A child isn’t winning the award but it is a junior athlete this season! Biathlon23 likes to promote our younger athletes and it has finally paid off with the most hits this season. I assure you this was from the quality of the interview and not because she shared it on her instagram page! πŸ˜‰

Winner: Anna Gandler

Golden shot:

A new award this season for the best shot on the tour. The only one not decided by me but by statistics (ish!). It gets complicated here because the best shooting percentage goes to Alina Kolomiyets with a 96% hit rate. However that was calculated only on 30 shots of which she hit 29 which is of course impressive. The winner had a hit rate of 93% which he shared with 2 other athletes but he took a lot more shots. Hitting 392/420 is ridiculous – imagine missing just 28 shots all season. He is a legend though!

Winner: Simon Eder

Best comedy performance:

A new award this season and the first contender is Tiril Eckhoff for her infamous ‘eat, sleep and maybe make some love’ Christmas plans. Dorothea Wierer’s Magic Mike dancing was up there too as was Johannes Dale ‘forgetting’ to choose Tarjei Boe in his dream mixed relay team while Tarjei was standing next to him! The winner though can not only make a noise like a Formula1 car but also in her commentary for World Radio day came out with the phrase “Three spares needed, I’m sweating down to my bum!”

Winner: Eva Puskarcikova

Epic fail:

Another of the new awards. Two contenders for this award. First Dorothea Wierer for her brain freeze in the mass start in Oestersund. Coming into the very windy range in second place she froze on the mat and lost track of time passing. She was there for over 2 minutes and still missed 3 targets eventually finishing 26th. The winner though doesn’t really have wind as an excuse. He missed all 5 targets in his prone shoot in the Pokljuka mass start and finished last. Then 2 weeks later in the next race, the men’s relay in Nove Mesto, he missed 7/8 prone targets even with 3 spares! Lucky for him he is so amazing at the pursuit!

Winner: Emilien Jacquelin

Best GIF:

The GIFs on Instagram and now Twitter too are great. We had a bit of zen from Aita Gasparin, some shooting from Amanda Lightfoot and Roberts Slotins, a mike drop from Lisa Hauser and some mask work from Johannes Boe and Vetle Christiansen. There was also Joanne Reid emerging from behind Deedra Irwin and then a lot of swiping up! The winner is clear. Somehow he managed to become the ‘mind blown’ emoji in human form. Amazing work!

Winner: Erik Lesser

Best fall:

There were quite a lot of good falls this season mostly in Oberhof! Lisa Hauser fell on the downhill corner and broke her rifle. Julia Schwaiger did a fall, spin and slide but somehow managed to miss the other athletes around her. Sebastian Samuelsson tripped himself up in the home straight and face planted into the snow. My favourite was two women coming down the hill in the Antholz women’s relay. One fell and then wiped the other out too! If you are going to fall you may as well make it spectacular!

Winner: Eva Puskarcikova and Suvi Minkkinen

Best rifle design:

Good news rifle fans we have a few contenders this season although I have to say the majority of rifles are still unbelievably boring! Doro went all metallic, Anastasiya Merkushyna has a paw print, Aita Gasparin has a lion’s face as does Darya Blashko. The lion is popular but so is the unicorn. This year’s winner is the unicorn and it’s a dabbing unicorn at that although it has been mistaken for a ghost and a moomin! πŸ˜‰

Winner: Evgeniya Pavlova

Best ski suit:

The new Latvian ski suit for World Champs was very nice and an improvement on the old one. Little changed elsewhere but one ski suit stood out. Not just for it’s design but who it was designed by! The suit has great detail around the thigh and also up the back of the calf just above the ski boot and represents its country’s colours well despite there being no green! It was designed by Ukaleq Slettemark and I wish more athletes would get involved like her.

Winner: Greenland

Worst ski suit:

There were not alot of bad ski suits this season mainly because most of them stayed the same. One change however was not for the better! A slight change to the green and red stripes that now make it look like the athlete was dragged through a hedge backwards rather than having their veins on show has not helped much. It’s not the first time this country has won this award and I don’t think it will be the last!

Winner: Bulgaria

Best Biathlete23:

A difficult choice this season! There were two wins and a World Championship silver medal to choose from! Tarjei Boe took a sprint win in bib23 and Anais Chevalier-Bouchet took World silver also in the sprint. It was the winner of the individual race who takes this award though. It was the first race of the women’s season and on the first day of action. She hit 20/20 to take her only win of the season which just proves it was all thanks to bib23!

Winner: Dorothea Wierer

Biggest Improver:

A lot of people made good steps forward this season. Ingrid Tandrevold made good progress especially after her medal winning performances at the World Championships. Dzinara Alimbekava also took a leap up the rankings and her first win. Sturla Laegreid had a fabulous season but he was consistently good from the first race. The winner has been on the World Cup for a long time and had never been on the podium until this season! She achieved that and then went on on to win her first race and then her first World Title all in the space of two months. That is what I call improvement!

Winner: Lisa Teresa Hauser

Best Team Performance:

The German men’s relay team were a contender for this after they finally won a relay for the first time in ages. Also the whole Norwegian team after they topped the nations score ranking for both men and women. The winners however made history by winning the women’s relay globe for the first time. They won two races in a super competitive season and had to fight hard to do it especially in the final race.

Winner: Swedish women’s relay team

Biathlon23’s performance of the season:

So many to choose from this season. Just about all of Tiril’s races, Sturla’s amazing individuals, Emilien’s perfect World Champs pursuit the list goes on. Here at Biathlon23 we love an underdog! So performance of the year doesn’t go to the big guns who win a lot. This season it goes to a pair of biathletes who got everything right at the same time on the same day to earn their country an unexpected podium finish in the Nove Mesto single mixed relay. Using just 7 spares between them and beating the likes of France, Austria and Russia to third place.

Winner: Susan Dunklee and Sean Doherty

IBU Biathlete of the Year:

As they say in Highlander ‘there can only be one.’ A very easy decision this season as one biathlete stood head and shoulders above the rest. Overcoming a tough end to last season when she lost the Overall Title in the final race she wasn’t going to let that happen again. It was a record breaking, history making season becoming the first biathlete to win 7 sprint races in a row. Taking maximum points to win the sprint and pursuit crystal globes and winning the Overall Title with a week to spare it was a phenomenal World Cup season. She also won 4 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze at World Championships! The only race she didn’t win a medal in was the individual when she was 23rd! The best place to finish if you’re not on the podium! πŸ˜‰

Winner: Tiril Eckhoff

IPC Para-biathlete of the Year:

There were only two World Cup rounds in para biathlon this season and just 5 races. Four biathletes made a clean sweep of them in their categories and they were Vladislav Lekomtsev (standing), Ivan Golubkov (sitting), Vera Khlysova (VI) and one other. The first three all won the overall for the second year in row but our winner came from 8th last season in the women’s standing to take the title by winning every race against really tough opposition mainly from her own teammates.

Winner: Liudmyla Liashenko

Junior Biathlete of the Year:

There were two main contenders for this award. Switzerland’s Amy Baserga had a great Junior World Championships in Obertilliach. After just missing the podium in 4th in the individual she went on to win gold in the sprint and pursuit. She also got some good results at IBU Cup level and made her World Cup debut in Oestersund. Our winner did even better. He made his World Cup debut in Oberhof and finished 33rd in his first race. He then went on to win a silver medal at the Open European Championships in the single mixed relay before winning gold at the Junior Champs in the sprint, pursuit and relay with bronze in the individual!

Winner: Emilien Claude

Youth Biathlete of the Year:

The Youth World Championships were held in Obertilliach in February and it was the only competition for the young athletes this season. There were a few contenders for this award. Firstly Slovenia’s Lena Repinc who won gold medals in the sprint and pursuit as well as silver in the individual and relay. She also raced at the World Championships in Pokljuka and took a very impressive 5th place on the IBU Cup in Arber. Campbell Wright from New Zealand also raced at World Champs and also took an impressive 5th place on the IBU Cup in Arber! However the winner won three gold medals sweeping the events in Obertilliach. It was a fantastic performance from the Russian youngster.

Winner: Denis Irodov

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Vuokatti 2021: Para Biathlon!

The second and final World Cup of the season got underway on Thursday the 25th of March in Vuokatti, Finland. Some teams made it to this event that missed Planica like Canada, Great Britain and Belarus and some teams didn’t attend like France and the USA.

It’s a stange season to be awarding World Cup winners with just two rounds and some athletes racing one World Cup and not another and some not racing at all. However thats’s the season we have and it’s good that there were at least some races with the Paralympic Games coming up in under a year’s time.

There were only two biathlon races on the schedule and they were the sprint and individual events.

In the absence of Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch the women’s sitting races were wide open. The sprint went to Anja Wicker from Germany shooting 10/10. In fact the shooting was sublime with second placed Natalia Kocherova and third placed Irina Guliaeva also shooting zero. Wicker came out on top in the individual too, in front of Kocherova and Marta Zainulllina, meaning she took the overall title and did so by hitting every single target in the 5 races in the season.

The men’s sitting sprint was won by Ivan Golubkov with 9/10, his teammate Danila Britik shot the same in second place and there was a perfect shoot for Taras Rad in third. It was a great day for the British team on the range with all three athletes, Scott Meenagh, Steve Arnold and Calum Deboys, shooting 10/10. With victory in the individual, over Rad and Britik, Golubkov finished the season undefeated and took the overall title.

In the visually impaired (VI) races the biathletes shoot with their ears instead of their eyes by listening for the sound of the laser getting closer and closer to the target. In the women’s sprint it was Vera Khylzova with guide Natalia Iakimova who was victorious. She hit 10/10 to finish ahead of Sviatlana Sakhanenka who is guided by former IBU biathlete Dzmitry Budzilovich. She hit 7/10 but still held off Iuliia Smirnova who shot clean for third place with guide Eduard Berezin. Khylzova won the individual ahead of Oksana Shyshkova and Smirnova to secure the overall title with just 1 missed target all season.

In the men’s VI sprint it was victory for Belarus with Yury Holub with guide, former World Cup biathlete, Vladimir Chepelin. He missed two shots but still beat Stanislas Chokhlaev and Nikolai Polukhin into second and third even though they both hit all 10. Holub didn’t race the individual and so this time Chokhlaev took the win ahead of Iaroslav Reshetynskyi and Vasili Shapsiaboi and with it the overall title.

There were no surprises in the standing races with Vladislav Lekomtsev winning the men’s race to head a clean sweep of the podium by Russia. Vitalii Malyshev was second and Ivan Kodlozerov third. All three men hit 9/10. Victory in the individual, ahead of Gygorii Vovchynskyi and Kodlozerov, meant a clean sweep of the races for Lekomtsev and the overall title.

In the women’s standing it was Ukraine on top of the podium with Liudmyla Liashenko in first place ahead of compatriot Yuliia Batenkova-Bauman both with 9/10. Third place went to Ekaterina Rumyantseva with 7/10. Liashenko also won the individual race with Batenkova-Bauman and Rumyantseva again behind her to take the overall with the pefect season winning all her races.

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Planica 2021: Para-Biathlon!

After cancellations, rescheduling, more cancellations and rescheduling the para-biathlon World Cup finally got underway in March! It can only be Covid that makes a winter sport begin it’s season in spring!

There were a few countries not making this round like Canada, Norway, Belarus and Great Britain but there were still plenty of competitors to line up at the start.

We got underway in Slovenia with the biathlon middle event. It’s the 10km race with 4 shoots. First to race were the men in the visually impaired (VI) category. The win went to the Russian Stanislav Chokhlaev with guide Oleg Kolodiichuk after he hit 19/20. With the perfect 20 hits in second was his compatriot Nikolai Polukhin and guide Eduard Berezin. Third went to Ukraine’s Iaroslav Reshetynskyi and guide Denys Nikulin with 18/20.

In the women’s VI race there was another 1-2 for Russia with Vera Khlyzova and guide Natalia Iakimova hitting 20/20 for the win and Iuliia Smirnova with guide Roman Tarasov shooting 19/20 in second. Ukraine were again third with Oksana Shyshkova and guide Andriy Marchenko getting 20/20 to round off some impressive shooting from the ladies.

In the standing it was Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtsev who struck gold despite missing 2 shots. Frenchman Benjamin Daviet hit 19/20 in second place while Ivan Kodlozerov hit the perfect 20 in third.

The women’s standing saw Ukraine sweep the podium with Liudmyla Liashenko winning the battle of the teammates hitting all 20. Iryna Bui was second with 18 hits and Yuliia Batenkova-Bauman was third with 19/20.

The sitting gold also went to Russia with Ivan Golubkov missing 1. Germany’s Martin Fleig was second with a perfect shoot and Ukraine’s Taras Rad rounded off the podium in third with 19/20.

The women’s sitting was the now usual fight between the American pair Kendall Grestch and Oksana Masters. Masters came out on top in this one despite two misses to Gretsch’s one. Russia’s Marta Zainullina was third also with 1 miss.

The second event was the Individual which at 12.5km is the longest event. There were second wins for Lekomtsev, Liashenko, Masters, Golubkov and Khlysova however in the men’s VI there was a reversal with Polukhin beating Chokhlaev thanks to some great shooting. He hasn’t missed a shot yet getting 40/40 over two races.

Vladimir Khairullin took third place in the men’s VI with guide Dmitrii Gorshkov making it a podium sweep for Russia. Shyshkova took second in the women’s VI with Germany’s Vivian Hoesch and guide Alexander Wilde in third.

Gretsch and Zainullina were again second and third behind Masters and in the men’s sitting it was second place for Rad and third for Aleksandr Davidovich behind winner Golubkov.

It was another 1-2-3 for Ukraine with Batenkova-Bauman and Oleksandra Kononova coming home behind Liashenko in the women’s standing. Aleksandr Pronkov broke up great rivals Lekomtsev and Daviet by finishing second behind his teammate and in front of the Frenchman who was third.

The final races were the 6 km 2 shoot sprints and I’m not going to lie there were no real surprises. Taking three wins from three were Lekomtsev, Liashenko, Khylzova, Masters and Golubkov. Chokhlaev made it back to the top of the podium with his second win.

Completing the podiums were Benjamin Daviet and Ivan Kodlozerov in the men’s standing and Iryna Bui and Oleksandra Kononova in the women’s.

Kendall Gretsch was second in the women’s sitting and Germany’s Anja Wicker got her first podium of the season in third. In the men’s race it was teammates Taras Rad and Vasyl Kravchuk who finished in the podium spots.

Nikolai Polukhin was second in the men’s VI (he missed 1 shot to shoot 49/50 for the 3 races) and Reshetynskyi was third. For the women it was second place again for Smirnova and another podium for Germany with Clara Klug and guide Martin Hartl in third.

The second and final World Cup will take place in Vuokatti, Finland on the 25th and 26h of March where we will hopefully see some of the Canadian team and the British team back in action. The French team are not attending.

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The Biathlon23 Awards 2019/2020!

Hello and welcome to the 7th annual Biathlon23 awards. The alternative awards for biathlon which represent the important things in the sport with best facial hair, best earrings and best ski suit among the most prestigious and most sought after awards. To be honest it has been a bit of a struggle writing these this season in the light of world events but if they can even just make you crack a small smile all the wailing, gnashing of teeth and pulling out of hair will have been worth it! (To be fair the pulling out of hair is the only way I can get it shorter with no trips to the hairdresser allowed!)

The awards are of course subject to a rigorous system used to ensure fairness in the nominations and winners – I pick them and it’s totally biased! Read, enjoy and feel free to disagree! πŸ™‚

Most hits on the blog (so most popular):
Paulina Fialkova was not the most popular interview on my blog this season! Just the second most popular even though it is now a few years old! This season’s winner was a slow burner that picked up a lot of interest a little while after it was published. It belongs to a biathlon renegade! From the naked lady on her rifle to her super cool middle name from her maths genius (!) to her hilarious instagram ramblings – what’s not to like!

Winner: Joanne Reid

Strangest search on the blog:

I love people! I love them because they are strange! Here is a selection of some of the strangest searches on the blog this season! I get a lot about gossip, boyfriends/girlfriends of biathletes and people looking for nude pictures! Sorry wrong blog for all that but there is always some gold in between! For example:

‘dorothea wierer speaking german’ Yes she does and Italian and English! Is there no end to her talents?
‘dorothea wierer jeans’ I don’t think the super fashionista and helicopter traveller would be seen in jeans these days! πŸ˜‰
‘tuuli tomingas prize money’ If you want to know how much money she has Mr and Mrs Tomingas just ask her!
‘petra fialkova biathlon’ My favourite of the Fialkova sisters!
‘laura dahlmeier biathlon where she been’ Great question! Wasting her time by not being a biathlete anymore!
‘when did hanna oberg begin her youtube career’ Hey Oberg stick to biathlon! Leave the vlogging and blogging to others please! πŸ˜‰
‘biathlon and drugs’ What you do at the weekend is your own business!
‘what is a super sprint in biathlon’ Exactly! All I know is it’s a sprint and it’s super!
‘benjamin weger career end’ Fear not he only ended the season early. Do you get the feeling he knew something we didn’t!

Winner: ‘scottish biathlete mike dixon best result’ – I believe it was getting a sweet job as biathlon commentator on Eurosport! Or as I like to call it – my job!

Best Facial Hair:
It looks like I am going to have to give this award to the same person in perpetuity! I mean nobody else has made much facial hair effort this season. Are beards out now? Are we back to clean shaven? Anyway nobody can beat this guy. Imagine the effort it takes to comb and wax that moustache everyday to look like D’Artagnan?

Winner: Timofey Lapshin

Best earrings:
There were some good earrings around this season but they were all blown out the water by the newly discovered Estonian earring legend! Sporting an earring made from an old casing – well hopefully it is old!- what could be more appropriate than that for a biathlete! Not sure anyone can top that in the future!

Winner: Regina Oja

Best fall:

There were quite a lot of falls this season especially in Oberhof. Kalev Ermits skied right off the tracks onto the road and then Dominik Windisch managed to hit everything down the side of the tracks but luckily just missed the lampost! However the best fall was in Kontiolahti. You have just announced your retirement, your team throws you up in the air in celebration – and then drop you on the ground from a great height! Hilariously funny and a great way to end a stellar career! NOT! πŸ˜‰
Note to French team – see Finnish team for proper technique!

Winner: Martin Fouracde

Best GIF:
The GIFs on Instagram are a lot of fun! We had some dances, some very strange facial expressions and a bit of comedy too. My favourite and the one that comes in the most useful is a Norwegian who lifts his glasses, has a look and then gives a round of applause. Hopefully he will do the same for these awards!

Winner: Johannes Dale

Best rifle design:
Well I think this award is going to be retired this season! The biathletes are pretty pathetic at rifle design. We have the standouts of course – Davidova, Krcmar, Lesser etc. but they are not new. Seriously how hard is it to come up with a cool design! Oh I know I will just change the colour! Not good enough people! (I apologise if I have missed any good work on the IBU Cup or Juniors). Anyway in what is almost certainly the final awarding of best rifle design it is going to someone who actually makes their own rifle with their own fair hand which is pretty amazing.

Winner: Quentin Fillon Maillet

Best ski suit:
What do we look for in a good ski suit? Well first it needs to be easily recognisable from afar or in a crowd. It needs the colours of the country and of course it needs pizzazz! Germany looked like Germany again this season which was good. Norway always have a good suit. This year’s winner though was made especially for the World Championships. Normally I am against changing suit for World champs but this one is actually better than the World Cup suit! It has all the colours of the national flag and has pizzazz in abundance!

Winner: Belgium

Worst ski suit:
Bulgaria won this last season and then had the audacity not to even change their suit for this season! Do they not read the awards!!! This season I had to give worst suit to what can only be described as a harlequin gone wrong – badly wrong!

Winner: Romania

Best Biathlete23:
Not a lot of competetion this year for this award. Jakov Fak and Tarjei Boe both came 4th in bib23 at the World Championships in Antholz which was great. However almost at the last minute our heroine stepped up to save the day by getting biathlete23’s only podium in the sprint in Nove Mesto when she finished third! Unicorn power + bib23 = success! It’s simple maths! πŸ˜‰

Winner: Marketa Davidova

Biggest Improver:
This was a straight fight between two biathletes. One is an estabished competitor who made leaps and bounds in performance this season and one is a young biathlete who has shown what amazing potential they have. Some suggested that it was Tora Berger in a mission impossible style mask, but I believe it was Tiril Eckhoff who won all those races and challenged for the overall title. A fall in the summer meant she spent a lot of time on her shooting and boy did it pay off. She was like a new biathlete. However the award is going to a young man who went from 24th to 5th in the overall in one season, took his first win at World Championships no less and won the world cup pursuit title. He had never made the World Cup podium before this season. Now that’s what I call improvement!

Winner: Emilien Jacquelin

Best Team Performance:
This was a no brainer! I mean winning every single race on the World Cup and the World Championships is a remarkable feat. The relay can easily be lost if just one team member has a bad day or even just one bad shoot. This team overcame everything that was thrown at them to be the first to win six races in one season.

Winner: Norwegian Women’s relay team

Biathlon23’s performance of the season:
A difficult choice this season between three biathletes. Martin Fouracde winning his last race in Kontiolahti was emotional and Kaisa Makarainen winning in horrible conditions in the Oberhof mass start in her last season was extremely impressive. The award goes to another however. She won the pursuit gold medal in her home town at the World Championships under enormous pressure. After a shaky start in the sprint were she finished 7th she fought off some of the best biathletes around to take the win. It was a dream come true! – oh and she isn’t retiring!

Winner: Dorothea Wierer

IBU Biathlete of the Year:
A tough decision this year. We had Johannes Boe winning his second overall in a row and Dorothea Wierer doing the same. Martin Fourcade came back to near his best and Emilien Jacquelin and Tiril Eckhoff both had breakthough seasons for different reasons. However the award is going to a history maker and fantastic biathlete who is the first to win seven medals in seven races at World Championships. She went home to Norway with five gold and two bronze medals from Antholz. Sustaining that level of performance over such a short time is outstanding.

Winner: Marte Olsbu Roeiseland

IPC Para-biathlete of the Year:
The para biathlon World Championship was cancelled this year so it comes down to World Cup performances to decide this one. Ivan Golubkov, Vladislav Lekomtsev and Oleksandra Kononova were strong contenders for this but the award goes to a sit skier who is a remarkable biathlete. She skis very well but her shooting is incredible. She took the overall title in the sitting category, winning 4 of the 7 races, for the second year in a row up against some tough opposition.

Winner: Kendall Gretsch

Junior Biathlete of the Year:
It wasn’t an easy decision for this one. There have been some very good performances from the juniors this season not only on the junior tour but also on the World Cup. One that stood out was a 22-year-old from Bulgaria. She won a medal in each individual event at the Junior World Championships (individual silver, sprint and pursuit bronze) and took a personal best on the World Cup of 17th at the Senior World Championships. She is from a small biathlon nation that lacks the same funding as the big nations which makes her performances even more impressive!

Winner: Milena Todorova

Youth Biathlete of the Year:

The Youth World Championships were held in Lenzerheide in January and one biathlete stood out for his performances across the whole event. The 18-year-old Norwegian won three gold medals. He was first in the individual, first in the pursuit and anchored the Norwegian relay team to victory. His worst result over 4 races was 4th in the sprint! Outstanding – watch out Johannes!

Winner: Martin Nevland

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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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰ 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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