This year’s battle for the crystal globe was like a viking war! It was the experienced warrior from Stryn against the young upstart from Geilo trying to overthrow him and steal his kingdom. Or in simpler, less dramatic terms it was Johannes Thingnes Boe versus Sturla Holm Laegreid!
It went down to the final shoot of the final race and at the end there was just 1 missed target between them. It was Johannes Boe who came out on top with third place in the Oestersund Mass Start securing his third big crystal globe in a row with 1052 points.
Laegreid was just 13 points behind in second place and Quentin Fillon Maillet was third with 930 points.
Laegreid took the individual globe after winning two of the three races and coming second in the other! The sprint globe went to Johannes Boe. The pursuit and mass start globes were secured in the final races with Laegreid topping the pursuit rankings and Tarjei Boe winning the mass start globe which was his first in ten years!
The IBU introduced the blue bib for the best biathlete under-25 and that honour obviously went to Sturla Laegreid after his stellar season. In second place was Johannes Dale with 843 points and Sebastian Samuelsson was third with 817.
Jakov Fak was the winner of the silver bib with 693 points. Created by Clare Egan and Susan Dunklee and knitted by Dunklee it is an unofficial award for the best athlete who is 33 or over.
We had five debut winners this season which is pretty rare in the men’s field. Sturla Laegreid burst onto the World Cup winning the very first race the individual in Kontiolahti. Sebastian Samuelsson got his first win in the Kontiolahti pursuit in magnificent style coming from 18th to win. Johannes Dale grabbed his maiden victory in the Hochfilzen sprint. Martin Ponsiluoma won the sprint in Pokljuka to make his first ever win a World Title! And finally Simon Desthieux won his first race in the Nove Mesto sprint after nine long years of trying!
The relay globe went to Norway. They won the first race of the season in Kontiolahti and later went on to win gold at the World Championships in Pokljuka. However the wins were shared around this season with Sweden winning in Hochfilzen, France in Oberhof and Antholz and Germany in Nove Mesto.
As in almost every season someone surprising wins the sprint World Title. In Pokljuka it was Martin Ponsiluoma. Emilien Jacquelin did the pursuit double winning the title again in spectacular fashion. Sturla Laegreid was outstanding to win the individual and mass start. It takes real talent to win in two such different disciplines in the same two weeks.
There were only three single mixed relays this season with France winning two. The were winners in Oberhof before taking the World Title in Pokljuka. Sweden won the other race with victory in Nove Mesto.
Norway repeated their World Cup domination in the IBU Cup too by winning the overall title and all the individual globes. The Total Score went to Filip Fjeld Andersen who also won the sprint rankings. The pursuit title went to Sivert Bakken and the individual to Endre Stroemsheim. Germany took the relay title to prevent Norway winning everything!
The Open European Championships in Poland saw the gold medals go to Andrejs Rastorgujevs in the individual, Martin Jaeger in the sprint and Artem Pryma in the pursuit.
The Juniors had one big competition the World Championships. Philipp Lipowitz was the champion in the individual while Emilien Claude won the sprint and pursuit double as well as helping France to relay gold.
Denis Irodov was the big winner at the Youth World Championships in Obertilliach. He won all three events; the individual, sprint and pursuit. Poland took relay gold.
Sadly we has some big name retirements this season with Simon Schempp, Arnd Peiffer and Ondrej Moravec all calling it a day. All three were excellent professionals and very successful biathletes and will be much missed by the biathlon family and the fans alike.
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