Tag Archives: Karoline Erdal

OECH 2017: Duszniki Zdroj!

oech17

The Open European Championships got underway in Duszniki Zdroj in Poland on Wednesday with the Individual races. With a brand new stadium and good weather conditions it made it a good day to race.

The results of both races were a bit controversial however and to be fair you could see it coming. Alexander Loginov won the Men’s Individual and Irina Starykh won the women’s race. Both have just returned to the sport after serving 2 year suspensions for doping violations. According to the rules they were caught, they have served their suspensions and are free to compete again. However against the backdrop of alleged Russian state sponsored doping and the IBU biathletes threatening action if the IBU doesn’t crack down on doping it makes an uncomfortable situation for the governing body.

Whatever you feel about the outcome of the race they were the winners and performed the best on the day. They have both been doing well on the IBU Cup so it wasn’t a big surprise that they won. The silver medal for the men went to Bulgaria’s Krasimir Anev who shot 20/20 and bronze went to Alexey Slepov who also shot the perfect score.

In the Women’s Individual silver went to Russia’s Svetlana Sleptsova, who has also been involved in doping in the past, and bronze to Anastasiya Merkushyna from the Ukraine who both missed 1 target.

Both Sprint races took place on Friday and in the men’s race Bulgaria’s Vladimir Iliev won his first race and his first title despite 1 missed target. He finished 5 seconds ahead of Loginov who won silver and 16 seconds ahead of teammate Krasimir Anev who won bronze. They both shot 10/10 which makes Iliev’s performance a very good one.

In the women’s race in the afternoon Ukraine’s Yuliia Dzhima won gold by 27 seconds shooting 10/10. Silver again went to Sleptsova who also shot clean and the bronze went to Starykh with 1 miss.

On Saturday both Pursuit races were held and Irina Starykh won yet again. She shot 20/20 which means she hasn’t missed a target yet in 3 races. Silver medal went to Yuliia Dzhima who missed 2 targets, one in each standing shoot to finish 20 seconds behind. Third place went to Sleptsova who had 1 miss. It means over the 3 races only 4 women have won all 9 medals. Ingrid Tandrevold had a great race a bit further back coming from 48th shooting clean to end up 16th.

The men’s race was again dominated by the Russians. Loginov took gold again shooting 19/20 to beat compatriot Evgeniy Garanichev by 28 seconds. Garanichev had a great race starting 17th and taking the silver medal shooting 19/20. Andrejs Rastorgujevs finally made it on to the podium missing 4 shots and having to pass another Russian Volkov on the final lap to take the bronze medal. The Sprint winner Iliev missed 6 targets and finished in 11th place.

The final day of racing on Sunday was for the Relays. Unsurprisingly they were both won by the Russians. First it was the Single Mixed Relay and Garanichev and Daria Virolaynen who used 7 spare rounds finished 6.3 seconds ahead of Norway who also used 7. Tandrevold and Christiansen held on to silver in front of home favourites Krystyna and Grzegorz Guzik who finally gave the home fans something to cheer winning bronze.

The Mixed Relay gold went to the team of Starykh, Sleptsova, Volkov and Loginov. They finished 36 seconds ahead of silver medalists Norway with a team of Erdal, Huber, Bjoentegaard and Gjesbakk. Bronze medal went to the Ukrainians with a team of Merkushyna, Dzhima, Zhyrnyi, and Tkalenko despite Dzhima going on the penalty loop and Tkalenko being in second until Gjesbakk overtook him on the final downhill.

That concludes the Open European Championships which were dominated by Russia. Thankfully some others from the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Latvia and Norway got in on a bit of the action! It will be interesting to see if the likes of Loginov and Starykh get named on the World Championships team for Hochfilzen which starts on the 9th of February.

Follow @biathlon23 on Twitter! Like biathlon23 on Facebook!

Advertisements

The Biathlon23 Awards 2015/16!!!

awards
It’s back! That’s right the Biathlon23 awards are now in their third year! And guess what Leonardo DiCaprio has finally won one!! Only joking biathlon is a lot harder than surviving a CGI bear attack! 😉 As usual they are not your typical awards and there are a few new categories too. Obviously the same rigorous system was used to ensure fairness in the nominations and winners – I pick them and it’s totally biased! Read, enjoy and feel free to disagree!

Most hits on the blog (so most popular):
Last year’s post that was read by the most people was about an American.This year it is a Brit. It’s great to see the growing interest in the smaller biathlon nations where most of the population haven’t heard of the sport let alone who competes in it. This lady especially deserves your support as she was all alone this season on the Women’s World Cup as Britain’s only female representative.
Winner: Amanda Lightfoot

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:

“Tarjei Boe Marine” : Someone has taken RamBoe too seriously!
“Simon Fourcade’s diet”: Snails and frogs legs mostly! 😉
“Johannes Boe why pink rifle”: My sentiments exactly!
“Benjamin Eder”, “Manuela Goessner”, “Galina Schwaiger”: My favourite biathletes!
“Martin and Simon Fourcade warfare”: I knew they didn’t like each other really!
“where is Laura Dahlmeier?”: I don’t know I haven’t seen her!
“funny welle strand horn”: I think there is a Norwegian biathlete in there somewhere!
” olgan of awesome race 2015″: erm ….!
Winner:”Emil Hegle Svendsen secret weapon”: It’s the amazing hair! It’s dandruff free you know. 😉

Best Facial hair:
I wanted to give this to the magnificent beard of Martin Johnsrud Sundby and then I remembered he isn’t a biathlete! Damn you Sundby! The biathlon beards seem to have been quite absent this season. Martin Fourcade was growing a beard for a bet, not shaving until he shot clean. He cheated and shaved it before he shot clean though and that kind of attitude does not win you awards Monsieur! The winner kept his beard all through the season and through dancing with Russian media and film making with the Norwegians!
Winner:Max Davies

Best earrings:
There were many contenders this year. Everyone seems to be wearing them now. They are probably trying to win this award! Kaisa Makarainen had nice ones as did Olena Pidhrushna and many others. This year however the winner is someone who has gone for patriotism, and has more than one pair, with earrings in red, white and green.
Winner: Dorothea Wierer

Nicest person in biathlon:
I was really tempted to give this to last year’s winner again Jean-Gui Beatrix because he was nice enough to do an interview for me although it took him ages!! However he failed to acknowledge the role of this interview in getting him his first ever World Cup win in Pokljuka! That’s not nice! The winner has in fact done 2 interviews for my blog already and I am sure he will do more if I ask. He always remains positive even in a team struggling for finance and did I mention the most important fact – he is Scottish!! 😉
Winner: Scott Dixon

Best Team Performance:
A difficult choice this season. France were strong contenders for their World Championship results. Norway won both Relay golds in Oslo. However I expect that kind of stuff from those teams. What I didn’t expect was a small biathlon nation to go and win a bronze medal in the Men’s Relay. An exceptional performance from all four biathletes when everything just went right on the day. Excellent shooting and cool heads from Brendan Green, Nathan Smith, Scott Gow and Christian Gow.
Winner: Canadian Men’s Relay Team

Biggest Improver:
This year’s award goes to someone who has made a big impression in Season 2015/16. He has gone under the radar until now possibly because of the strong results of his teammates. His best result last season on the World Cup was a 15th place. His best result this season was 5th. His best performance at a World Championships previously was 57th. This season is was also 5th. His shooting has been amazing this season and if he keeps improving it won’t be long until we see him on the podium. Arguably the strongest male biathlete on the Czech Team this season.
Winner:Michal Krcmar

Best fall:
We don’t like to see biathletes fall. That’s a total lie we love it as long as they don’t get hurt! This year’s victor went all out to get this award. In Presque Isle he came to the bottom of a slope on a corner and went straight into a tree and got concussion. Raising the bar and proving that if you don’t go to hospital you won’t win this award!
Winner:Arnd Peiffer

Best quote in a press conference/interview:
One year this award won’t go to one of the Boe brothers but it won’t be this year! Tarjei strikes again winning this for the second year in a row. Commenting on younger brother Johannes winning two races and getting a second place in Presque Isle he said “I’m glad Fourcade beat him yesterday or he would be flying already over the Atlantic Ocean!”
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ_x4JT2W-Y
Winner:Tarjei Boe

Best biathlon video:
There are a lot of biathletes making videos of training and they are really good. The French do the most with Antonin Guigonnat, Quentin Fillon Maillet and Alexis Beouf all posting some good stuff. This inaugural award however doesn’t go to a biathlete at all. It goes to a TV station and reporter for his amazing explanation of biathlon in song with some help from the Norwegian biathletes!
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThZRndkxA-E
Winner:NRK and Nicolay Ramm

Best World Cup Round:
The World Cup was a bit different this season as we missed Oberhof for lack of snow and had 2 rounds in Ruhpolding. In Khanty Mansiysk 2 races were cancelled due to strong winds and there were problems with snow elsewhere. One place that had no problems with snow or weather and hosted a great World Cup round with good organisation and the beautiful backdrop of the Three Sisters (the mountains not the Gasparins!). We haven’t been there for a while but hopefully we will go back soon!
Winner: Canmore

Best rifle design:
Another tough category this year but it comes down to two. Selina Gasparin with her rifle of flames which was designed in a competition and Anton Shipulin’s dragon rifle. Both are very cool and any other season Gasparin would have had this award but come on his rifle is carved like a dragon!A DRAGON!!!
Winner:Anton Shipulin

Most ridiculous rifle colour:
Some advice for you Johannes, pink and ginger clash my friend. The gold was good last season but pink! It ‘s not even a nice shade of pink! What were you thinking?
Winner: Johannes Thingnes Boe

Best ski suit:
There were actually very few contenders for this award but Great Britain put out a good design as usual and I do like Estonia’s too. The Norwegians have finally taken my advice and added some extra colour to the red with their excellent World Championships suit. However the winner I think represents their country well. Classic white and blue with a swirling pattern within the blue sections which I hope depicts the many lakes of the country in question.
Winner:Finland

Worst ski suit:
On my God! Where do I even start with this one. It was like the designers had a competition to see who could come up with the worst suit. This is such a difficult decision but let’s look at the “offenders”. First Russia with the weird pixelated trousers. Followed by Sweden and the Ukraine with the weird pixelated trousers. Then came America with the weird pixelated trousers and also the colours of orange and purple which on TV made them look like Russia! The cold war begins again! Canada didn’t want to miss out either with their tribute to “Where’s Wally (Waldo)? So I didn’t like a lot of the suits this season but for my initial reaction to the this one (“what the hell is it that?”) and contrasting it with the greatness of their previous suit I chose the winner – or more appropriately the loser. Blue with what looks like a red, white and yellow attack by an out of control marker pen!
Winner:France

Best vocal performance:
There weren’t many to choose from this season! Maybe Gabi was too busy winning the Overall Title to do any singing. However we did get some nice seasonal songs at Christmas from someone that I didn’t even know could sing.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ_x4JT2W-Y
Winner:Clare Egan

Rising star:
This young lady is, at 19-years-old, an up and coming talent in the French Team and that is a pretty difficult thing to do as they have a lot of very good biathletes. Her previous best result on the World Cup was 14th place and this season she improved that to 4th. She won a silver medal with the Women’s Relay Team at the World Championships and has achieved 8 Top 20 finishes on the World Cup. She is an excellent shot and I expect her to get her first World Cup podium next season.
Winner:Justine Braisaz

Best biathlete23:
A straight fight between two Frenchmen! Quentin Fillon Maillet and Martin Fourcade. QFM was the first biathlete in bib23 this season and provided a photo of the bib which I stole for my profile picture! He was also 4th which was the best result until the World Championships where Fourcade won gold in bib23 in the Individual. A difficult choice but – I love gold!!!
Winner: Martin Fourcade

Biathlon23’s performance of the season:
Another impossible task to choose a winner. Martin Fourcade’s Individual at the World Championships, Johannes Boe’s Mass Start gold medal, Ole Einar and Marie Dorin Habert in Oslo are just a few. We also had great races in the Mass Starts from Jean Guillaume Beatrix, Dominik Windisch and especially Erik Lesser in Ruhpolding. The award is going to a woman who didn’t have a great season but when under maximum pressure she delivered. At her home World Championships in front of the King she shot 10/10 and won the gold medal in the Sprint. She is brave and never gives up and is amazing at handling huge pressure.
Winner:Tiril Eckhoff

IBU Biathlete of the Year:
This award should go to Martin Fourcade. He won the Overall Title for the 5th time in a row and 4 gold medals at the World Championships. But then you have 42-year-old Ole Einar Bjoerndalen who won a race on the World Cup and 4 World Championship medals. The award is not going to either of them though. It’s going to a woman who worked hard all season, was very consistent and raced in a more competitive field. She won the Overall Title for the first time for herself and her country and also took 3 of the 4 small globes. Most importantly she did it all with a smile on her face!
Winner:Gabriela Soukalova

IPC biathlete of the Year:
The Russian’s won every single category on the World Cup in biathlon this season so it’s no surprise that the award goes to a Russian. The men’s standing category is very competitive just now and the winner was pushed all the way by a rapidly improving Benjamin Daviet of France and only won the title in the final race of the season in Vuokatti in Finland.
Winner:Vladislav Lekomtsev

Youth/Junior Biathlete of the Year:
Yet another tough decision. At World Juniors Felix Leitner and Hannah Oberg both took double gold. Viktar Kryuko did the same in the European Juniors. In the Youth category Harald Oeygard won 2 gold and 1 bronze medal. Igor Malinovskii and Viacheslav Maleev won a gold medal and 2 silvers each. Karoline Erdal won medals as did Emilie Kalkenberg, Alina Pantova and Marina Sauter. However I have to give this award to someone who won bronze, silver and gold at the World Junior Championships taking his total up to an historic 10 Youth/Junior titles. He has also been competing and doing very well on the World Cup all season with a top finish of 13th in his home World Cup in Presque Isle.
Winner:Sean Doherty

Follow @biathlon23 on Twitter! Like biathlon23 on Facebook!

Karoline Erdal: The Interview!

erdal16

Karoline Erdal is a Norwegian biathlete who was born in Förde on the 15th of November 1997. She skis for her hometown club Förde IL. She recently took part in the Youth/Junior World Championships in Cheile Gradistei where she won gold in the Youth Women’s Sprint race and bronze in the Youth Women’s Relay with teammates Kristina Skjevdal and Emilie Kalkenberg. Her brother Ole Martin Erdal is also a biathlete.

You can follow Karoline on Twitter: @Karolineerdal

You won a gold and a bronze medal in Cheile Gradistei. Can you describe how it felt to win those medals?

The feeling was amazing! I was really satisfied with the races and I felt my shape was good.

What do you remember about the races? Can you describe them?

The Sprint was the individual race I was looking forward to competing in. I knew my shape was good and with good shooting, it would be a good race. I started as number two, and the minutes after I crossed the finish line waiting for the other competitors was really thrilling. But I made it, and I was so happy!

The relay was really hard. My legs were a bit heavy, but I was determined to give it all in the last race. My teammate, Emilie, exchanged as number six, and I knew I had to give it all on the track. The shooting was pretty good and I managed to take the team up to third place. I am really proud of my team and everyone did a great job!

Did you have any goals before you went to Romania and did you achieve them?

I had a goal to take an individual medal and perform four good races where I was satisfied with my own performance. I think I achieved them, and I have learned so much from this trip.

Norway has a lot of biathletes. How were you selected for the YJWCH? Did you have selection races?

The competition in Norway is pretty strong, that means that a ticket to YJWCH is a big achievement. We had four competitions that counted for the selection. Out of these four, we could stroke one competition, which means that only three of them count. The competition was really hard!

How did you prepare for the Championships?

I prepared like I would do for normal races in Norway. Having good training sessions with good focus and keep myself free from illness.

What are your goals for the future?

My goals for the future are to make progress every year, and eventually compete on the IBU and World Cup. For next season the goal is the YJWCH!

Why did you become a biathlete and why do you like the sport?

I became a biathlete mostly because of my family. We have always been an active family, and my father competed in biathlon before. When my brother started as a biathlete I wanted to try it myself, and I loved it! He is a big inspiration to me.
I like the sport because of the constant excitement and the combination between skiing and shooting. Nothing is decided before the athlete crosses the finish line.

Do you combine sport with your education or are you concentrating only on biathlon at the present?

At the present I am living in Geilo and going to high school where I combine school and biathlon.

Does your rifle have a name?

My rifle has no name.

Describe yourself in three words.

Kind, stubborn and strong-willed.

Quick fire Questions:

Favourite biathlon track:
Holmenkollen
Favourite biathlete (past or present): Tarjei Boe
Favourite event (sprint, pursuit etc): Sprint or Mass Start
Favourite/best race of your career so far? Sprint YJWCH 2016
Favourite food: Taco and steak
Favourite film: Fast and Furious 7
Favourite sports team: The Norwegian biathlon team!
Favourite TV show: Prison Break at the moment!

Follow @biathlon23 on Twitter! Like biathlon23 on Facebook!

Youth World Championships Review 2016!

ywc216
Erdal,Kalkenberg, Kryvonos

This year’s Youth and Junior World Championships was held in Cheile Gradistei in Romania. We got underway on Wednesday with the Youth’s Individual race for both men and women. The Youth category is open to anyone aged under 18.

The women went first in the morning and the race was a very close one. In fact it was won by only 2 seconds in the end by Germany’s Marina Sauter. She missed 2 targets as did Myrtille Begue of France, the younger sister of Aristide Begue, to win the race. Begue took second and in third was the Czech Republic’s Marketa Davidova.

The men were next and this race was dominated by Norway’s Harald Oeygard. He won by 40 seconds from compatriot Aleksander Fjeld Andersen. They both missed one target and in third place shooting clean was Italy’s Michael Durand.

The Sprint races came on Friday and the women started first with victory going to Norway’s Karoline Erdal who won by 25.5 seconds. The silver medal also went to Norway with Emilie Aagheim Kalkenberg beating Ukraine’s Anna Kryvonos for second place. All three of the podium finishers missed one target.

ywc16
Oeygard,Andersen,Durand

The men’s race went to Russia with Igor Malinovskii claiming gold by 26.3 seconds. Norway were second with Endre Stroemsheim taking silver by just over a second from another Russian Viacheslav Maleev.

On Sunday we had all the Pursuit races for the Youths and Juniors. The Youth Women’s race was won by Arina Pantova of Kazakhstan by just 3.4 seconds from Anna Kryvonos who took silver. Third place went to Marina Sauter who made up 11 places coming from 14th to take the bronze medal.

In the men’s race Viacheslav Maleev moved up from 3rd to take gold ahead of countryman Mailinovskii who missed 7 shots but still managed to hold on to the silver medal. Bronze went to Harald Oeygard who came from 8th to grab 3rd place.

The final day of competition for the young biathletes was the Relays on Monday. The Women’s 3x6km Relay was won by Russia with a team of Iaroslava Pervakova, Valeriia Vasnetcova and Polina Shevnina. They used 8 spare rounds in total and finished almost 25 seconds ahead of the second placed team the Czech Republic. Their team of Natalie Jurcova, Marketa Davidova and Tereza Vinlarkova used only 6 spares to claim silver. The bronze medal went to the Norwegian team of Kristina Skjevdal, Emilie Kalkenberg and Karoline Erdal who had 1 penalty loop but made up for it with fast skiing.

The Men’s 3x 7.5km Relay was the last race of the Youth competition and the gold medal went to the Norwegian team of Endre Stroemsheim, Aleksander Andersen and Harald Oeygard. It wasn’t really a surprise as each member of the team had already won individual medals. The silver medal went to the Russian team of Egor Tutmin, Viacheslav Maleev and Igor Malinovskii. The bronze was won by Italy who have had a good men’s competition. Michael Durand, Peter Tumler and Daniele Cappellari needed only 6 spares to make the podium.

That concludes this seasons Youth World Championships and has given us a few names to look out for in the future. The Norwegians and Russians have strong teams as you would expect but Italy also did well and so did Kazakhstan. Harald Oeygard had an impressive competition winning 2 gold and 1 bronze medal. The Russian pair of Malinovskii and Maleev also took home a gold medal and 2 silvers each. Erdal and Kalkenberg did well for the women as did Alina Pantova and Marina Sauter. Keep an eye out for them going forward because as you can see the future of biathlon is in good hands!

Follow @biathlon23 on Twitter! Like biathlon23 on Facebook!