Tag Archives: Sivert Bakken

Season Review 20/21: MEN

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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Open European Championships 2021: Duszniki Zdroj!

Poland was the host of the Open European Championships this season and the programme featured individuals, sprints, pursuits and mixed relays.

It was the individual races that started us off on Wednesday and the first gold medal went to the home team! Monika Hojnisz-Starega took the win shooting 19/20. Close behind her taking the silver medal was Anastasiya Merkushyna who hit 20/20 and was just an agonising 3 seconds from winning! The bronze went to Larisa Kuklina who also hit 19/20.

In the men’s race it was another World Cup regular who triumphed. Andrejs Rastorgujevs won the gold medal with 19/20. He finished well over a minute ahead of the Norwegian duo of Erlend Bjoentegaard and Endre Stroemsheim who took silver and bronze respectively both shooting 18/20.

Friday was sprint day and saw another gold medal for Latvia. This time it was in the women’s race. With 9/10 on the range and some speedy skiing it was Baiba Bendika who was victorious. The silver medal went to Norwegian Karoline Erdal who hit 10/10 and the bronze went to Russia with 10/10 for Anastasia Shevchenko.

In the men’s race it was Switzerland who came out on top. Martin Jaeger hit all 10 targets to take home the gold medal. It was quite an improvement from the individual when he missed 5 and was 75th but that’s the beauty of biathlon. The silver medal was won by Said Khalili also with 10/10. Johannes Kuehn took bronze despite two misses on the range and it was good to see him doing well here after having a tough time on the World Cup this season up to now.

In Saturday’s pursuits only one person from the sprints managed to hang on for another medal and that was Karoline Erdal. It was an icy course that greeted the biathletes and Baiba Bendika fell foul of it with a fall which broke her pole and her rifle.

It was Kamila Zuk who made it another gold for the hosts with a fabulous performance hitting all twenty targets and moving from 18th to 1st! Erdal held on to her starting place to claim another silver medal and her teammate Aasne Skrede came from 7th to grab the bronze medal.

In the men’s race it was Artem Pryma who triumphed. After starting 6th he still won the gold medal by 6.6 seconds despite 3 misses! The silver medal went to Michal Krcmar who hit 19/20 moving up from 8th. Bronze went to Haavard Bogetveit who got himself onto the podium after finishing 4th in the sprint.

The final day was for the single mixed and the mixed relays. In the Single it was the German team of Stefanie Scherer amd Justus Strelow who made it onto the top step of the podium. Just five spares between them won the gold medal. Second place went to the French team of Caroline Colombo and Emilien Claude. Claude overtook the Russians on the final lap and meant Larisa Kuklina and Evgeniy Garanichev had to settle for the bronze.

The mixed relay saw Norway take the gold despite a penalty loop on the first leg from Emilie Kalkenberg. Her teammates made up for it with Aasne Skrede, Erlend Bjoentegaard and Sivert Bakken using only 3 spares! The silver went to the German team of Vanessa Voigt, Marion Deigentesch, Dominic Schmuck and Philipp Nawrath with 7 spares required. Ukraine took bronze with Iryna Petrenko, Vita Semerenko, Bogdan Tsymbal and Artem Pryma using 10 spares. Lithuania were also impressive in 4th place.

All of which left Latvia and the home nation Poland joint first in the medal table with 2 gold medals each and Norway in third.

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Oberhof #1 2021: Sprints!

Welcome to the first biathlon races of 2021 in Oberhof! There was fresh snow, light winds and very little fog which continues the strange times we are living in! I did have to double check it was Oberhof!

Two sprints were on the cards today and the women raced first with nice conditions for shooting but there was fresh, deep snow and a new track to contend with which made the skiing tough.

Tiril Eckhoff wasn’t bothered by that though! She took the win today with perfect shooting and a magnificent ski. She was composed on the range and then after all the targets went down flew around the final lap to back up her sprint win from Hochfilzen. She is the form biathlete with 3 wins in the last 4 races.

Hanna Oberg matched her on the range with 10/10 but finished close to 30 seconds behind in second place. Third place went to Lisa Hauser who despite missing one shot in the stand skied really well to get her first ever World Cup podium and personal best result.

Julia Simon was 4th with 2 misses but again she is skiing super fast. A clean shoot from her and she could have won the race and she will when she sorts out her issues on the range. 5th went to Marte Olsbu Roeiseland who also hit 8/10. Fresh from her win at the World Team Challenge Evgeniya Pavlova hit 10 to finish in 6th with her personal best.

Maria Zdravkova hit all 10 for a PB in 46th.

It seems there was not a lot of eating, drinking and making merry in Norway this Christmas because after Tiril’s win the men made it a clean sweep of the podium in the afternoon! Looks like they have all been training hard in the holidays.

It was Johannes Boe who was back on top despite missing 1 in the stand and breaking a pole. He still managed to take his 50th career win and finish 10 seconds ahead of brother Tarjei.

The elder Boe has kept his good form this season and hit 10/10 in second place. He also showed a clean pair of heels to the young whippersnapper Sturla Laegreid who also hit all 10 but was 11 seconds behind Tarjei in third.

After him came Lukas Hofer in 4th with one miss. It was by far his best race this season.5th place went to another Norwegian with Johannes Dale shooting 9/10. Martin Ponsiluoma was 6th despite missing two.

There was a personal best for Raman Yaliotnau in 10th with no misses. Eduard Latypov was 11th for his PB with 9/10. Two debutants on the World Cup also got impressive results first time out with Sivert Bakken in 24th (10/10) and Emilien Claude in 33rd (10/10).

It will be a first WC pursuit race tomorrow for Alexandr Mukhin after his PB in 51st and for Pavel Magazeev with his PB in 59th.

It was good to see Italy’s Tommaso Giacomel back on the World Cup in 43rd place after struggling with his health after contracting corona virus in the summer.

Don’t miss the pursuit races tomorrow they should be a lot of fun but will Norway do the double again, will the fog come back? Tune in and see!

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Open Euro Champs: Minsk 2020!

Don’t worry you haven’t woken up back in 2019! The Open European Championships were meant to be in Otepaa, Estonia but due to lack of snow there they were switched to Minsk which held them last year too. Coincidentally Minsk doesn’t have any snow either but they do have a magic bag of snow that they can sprinkle out to resemble a track!

The first day was for the Super Sprint. If you don’t follow the IBU Cup you may not be familiar with this newer format. Basically there are two races – a shortened sprint race (3km) which all the biathletes start and then a shortened mass start (5km) with the top 30 finishers from the sprint. In both the qualification and the final you can use one spare round per shoot and the penalty loop is 75 metres.

Topping the men’s qualifying sprint was Anton Smolski and the final qualifier was Vasilii Tomshin in 30th place. In the final it was Sergey Bocharnikov who took gold at home in an exciting finish. It was a sprint for the line between 3 biathletes with Adam Vaclavik taking silver and Dmytro Pidruchnyi taking bronze. The top two both hit 20/20 but Pirdruchnyi had one miss.

In the women’s qualification it was Dzinara Alimbekava who was fastest and Natalja Kocergina who got the last spot in 30th. In the final it was Evgeniya Pavlova who took the win and the gold medal ahead of Olena Pidhrushna in second and Chloe Chevalier in third. All three women hit 20/20.

Thursday was relay day and we had the Single Mixed followed by the Mixed. The Single Mixed gold medal went to Norway with the team of Karoline Erdal and Endre Stroemsheim. They used 12 spares but were fast on the skis. The silver medal went to Germany with Stefanie Scherer and Justus Strelow who used just 5 spares. Bronze went to Ukraine’s Anastasiya Merkushyna and Ruslan Tkalenko with 7 spares required.

The Mixed Relay saw the very experienced Ukraine team take gold. Valj Semerenko, Yuliia Dzhima, Artem Pryma and Dmytro Pidruchnyi used 9 spares to take the win. Silver went to Russia with a team of Kristina Reztsova, Victoria Slivko, Eduard Latypov and Said Khalili also with 9 spares used. Norway eventually took bronze after a protest from Belarus saw them disqualified and reinstated on appeal! The team of Aasne Skrede, Ida Lien, Sivert Bakken and Aleksander Andersen used just 4 spares.

Friday was a day off for Minsk sightseeing! Saturday was Sprint day and it was Matvey Eliseev who struck gold for Russia. He hit 9/10 to take the win by just 4 seconds ahead of Andrejs Rastorgujevs who also hit 9/10 to take the silver medal. Bronze went to Aleksander Andersen who also missed one target.

In the women’s sprint it was Elisabeth Hoegberg who took the win with 9/10 to claim gold for Sweden. She finished 14 seconds ahead of the clean shooting Ida Lien. Home favourite Iryna Kryuko won bronze with 9/10.

The final medals were decided on Sunday in the two pursuit races. The Championships finished off how they started with gold for Belarus but this time it was double!

In the men’s pursuit Sergey Bocharnikov came from 5th to claim his second gold after winning the Super Sprint. He hit 18/20 to finish ahead of the Norwegian pair of Sturla Laegreid and Sivert Bakken. Laegreid came from 12th also hitting 18/20 for silver and Bakken came from 20th to take bronze with 18/20 too!

In the women’s pursuit it was Elena Kruchinkina who took gold for the home nation. She hit the perfect 20/20 to move from 11th all the way to first. Kristina Reztsova was second with 18/20 to take silver and Elisabeth Hoegberg stayed on the podium dropping to third and a bronze medal with 17/20.

The action now moves to erm… Minsk for the last IBU Cup of the year on the 4th of March! Not too far to travel for that one! 😉

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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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Brezno 2017: Youth World Champs!


Just a few days after the Senior World Championships ended attention was turned to Brezno-Osrblie for the Youth and Junior World Championships. Taking over hosting duties from Ostrov the youngsters all headed to Slovakia for the competition.

Wednesday was the first day of action and it was the Individual races that got us underway. The Youth Men went first. They have to be 19 or under to compete in the Youth races.

The first gold medal went to Canada when Leo Grandbois was the only biathlete to shoot the perfect score of 20/20. With a light drizzle and no wind it was quite surprising that he was the only one to shoot clean but it worked out well for him. Some others missed 14 or 15 shots out of 20 but they are just at the beginning of their careers and have plenty of time to improve the shooting. The silver medal went to Russia’s Said Khalili with 3 misses and the bronze medal went to Danilo Riethmueller of Germany also with 3 misses.

In the afternoon it was the turn of the Youth Women. This time France were victorious with Lou Jeanmonnet Laurent taking the gold medal with 19/20. The silver again went to Russia with Kristina Egorova also hitting 19/20 and the bronze medal went to Sweden’s Elvira Oeberg (yes there is another one!) who missed 2 targets.

On Thursday came the Sprints. The strong wind made conditions difficult but in the end it was Emilien Claude (the 3rd brother in the Claude biathlon dynasty) of France who dealt with them the best. He missed 2 targets but is a very good skier and won the race by 25 seconds. The silver medal went to Serhiy Telen of the Ukraine with 1 miss and the bronze went to Norway’s Sivert Bakken with 2 misses. Not one biathlete shot clean so 9/10 was the best shooting score possible.

The Women had slightly better conditions and the race was won by Irene Landschneider from Italy. She hit 9/10 to win by over a minute from second place. That went to Austria with Anna Gandler also hitting 9/10. Clean shooting and taking the bronze medal was another Italian Samuela Comola. The only other woman to shoot clean was Finland’s Maija Keraenen who was 13th.

Sunday was Pursuit day and for the men Emilien Claude kept his lead and won his second gold medal despite missing 4 targets. Italy took another medal with Cedric Cristille moving from 4th to 2nd to take silver with just 2 misses and bronze went to the German Danilo Riethmueller (4 misses) making that 2 medals for him.

Irene Landschneider

The women’s race produced yet another Italian medal with Irene Landschneider winning her second gold in a row and like Claude she also missed 4 shots. France’s Jeanmonnot took her second medal moving from 14th to 2nd with just 1 miss. Third went to Italy again with Samuela Comola hanging on to bronze.

The final races were held on Monday and it was the Men’s and Women’s Relays. The Youth Relays only have 3 biathletes instead of 4 racing. The men’s race was won by Norway with a team of Joergen Krogsaeter, Vebjoern Soerum and Sivert Bakken. They used just 6 spares between them. The Russian team took silver despite incurring 2 penalty loops on the final leg. The team of Aleksandr Miakonkii, Ilia Novopashin and Said Kalili beat Belarus into third. Their team of Kiryl Tsiuryn, Ilya Auseyenka and Dzmitry Lazouski needed just 8 spares.

The gold medal winners in the women’s race were the Russian team of Ekaterina Sannikova, Anastasiia Goreeva and Kristina Egorova. They also went on the penalty loop but still managed to beat the Norwegian team of Marthe Johansen, Marit Skogan and Mari Wetterhus who only used 4 spares. Italy took the bronze with a team of Samuela Comola, Irene Landschneider and Martina Vigna.

There were some very strong performances by the young biathletes here in Brezno with Emilien Claude and Irene Landschneider both winning double golds. It was a strong team performance by the young Italians overall and as usual the Germans, Russians and Norwegians all took medals. It will be interesting to see how they all progress in the next few years.

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