Tag Archives: Stina Nilsson

Oestersund 2021: Sprints!

Oestersund stepped in to host the final World Cup round of the season after Holmenkollen was cancelled for the second year in a row. It’s a shame for the Norwegian team who are going to win a lot of crystal that they can’t celebrate in front of their own fans but I guess Sweden is the next best place! 😉

It was a different venue but the same result in the women’s sprint. Tiril Eckhoff continued her tremendous form by winning her 7th sprint race this season and as only the 7 best races count towards the sprint rankings she got maximum points! Incredible.

Once again she won with 9/10. It was a miss in the stand today that made her have to dig really deep to claim the victory. Dorothea Wierer had piled the pressure on early hitting 10/10 and it took a lot for Eckhoff to beat her which she did in the end by just 2.5 seconds.

The Italian had to settle for second but she has come into good form right at the end of the season. Third place went to Ingrid Tandrevold who also hit 10/10 and is finding late form too.

Anais Chevalier-Bouchet was 4th, Lisa Hauser 5th and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland 6th.

There was a personal best for Milena Todorova in 8th with 10/10 and for Ida Lien in 9th also with 10 hits. Johanna Taliherm got her PB in 19th shooting zero as did Sanita Bulina in 32nd also with 10. Karoline Erdal got her best result so far in 49th with 1 miss. IBU cup winner Vanessa Voigt was 57th for a PB and qualified for a first World Cup pursuit.

There were a few World Cup debuts today most notably Stina Nilsson who finished 26th with 9/10. She has been racing on the IBU Cup but this is her best race so far. You can tell she is a big time performer!

Amy Baserga got her first World Cup start after success at Junior level and she was 83rd with 7/10. Juliane Fruehwirt was 62nd with 1 miss and Anastasia Shevchenko was 53rd with 1 miss to qualify for the pursuit.

The men’s sprint was also very close at the front with Lukas Hofer finally winning again 7 years after his first World Cup victory. He has been in great form recently and thoroughly deserves the win.

He hit 10/10 and skied really well but it was his perfomance on the range that made the difference and I don’t mean his shooting. Sebastian Samuelson had a faster ski time and also hit 10/10 but finished 4 seconds behind Hofer. It was Hofer’s speed skiing out of the range to the split timing point that won him the race and probably his speed at putting on his rifle and getting off the mat quickly. He has been working on these marginal gains for a long time and today it paid off.

Samuelsson took second and the evergreen Tarjei Boe was third also shooting zero. Simon Desthieux was 4th with 10/10 and Quentin Fillon Maillet 5th with 9/10.

Then we come to the race within the race between Sturla Laegreid and Johannes Boe. Boe missed 2 in the prone again and was on the back foot but produced a fabulous standing shoot to put him into 7th. Laegreid hit 10/10 and was 6th! It is very close between them in the race for the Overall but while Laegreid’s shooting remains strong he is looking a bit tired on the skis and Boe is the opposite! His confidence is gone in the prone shoot but his skiing is still super fast.

Elsewhere Thierry Langer acheived his personal best in 15th with 10/10, Tsukasa Kobonoki got his PB in 28th with 0-0 too.

There were more debuts for IBU Cup winner Filip Fjeld Andersen who was 58th with 7/10, David Zobel who was 52nd with 8/10 and Justus Strelow who was 37th with 9/10. They all qualified for their first World Cup pursuit. Eric Perrot also made his debut finishing 76th.

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Season Preview 2020/21: Women

Finally the season is almost upon us! Unfortunately it’s a bit different this year due to Covid-19 but we have biathlon to watch again which makes everything seem a bit better.

The World Cup kicks off in Kontiolahti with two rounds. First the ‘season opener’ on the 28th of November followed by round 1. Next comes two rounds in Hochfilzen. After Christmas we head to Oberhof for two rounds then to Antholz. February will see the World Championships in Pokljuka. However the end of the season is still up in the air after the recent cancellation of the Beijing round. It should feature Nove Mesto and Holmenkollen but it is yet to be finally confirmed.

The women’s World Cup is going to be awesome! We have quite a few ladies in contention for the Overall Title this season and anything could happen. Let’s take a look at the contenders.

The hot favourite is of course the one and only Dorothea Wierer! She has won the Total Score for the past two years and defending the women’s title is a pretty amazing feat. She has the experience and the confidence to make it three but it will be a tough ask. Only Magdalena Forsberg has won the overall more than two years in a row (she won 6 consecutively) but can Doro join her? We all know her shooting is incredible but she isn’t the fastest skier. There are others who will make her life very difficult.

Last season was incredible from Tiril Eckhoff just missing out on the Overall Title in the final race of the season. Who knows if we had gone to Holmenkollen maybe she could have won it but we will never know.

She made a massive step forward in her shooting thanks in no small part to her coach Patrick Oberegger. She is a phenomenal skier and a real fighter but can still suffer from inconsistent performances. Last season will have given her a lot of confidence and with a bit of luck on her side this could be Tiril’s year.

It’s not just Wierer she will have to overcome however. There will be a big challenge from her own teammate Marte Olsbu Roieseland. It was clear at World Championships just what a talented biathlete she has become in the past few years. Last season she focused on them and won a stunning 7 medals in 7 races. If she puts that effort into the World Cup then the title could be hers. On the other hand it is much harder to maintain form and consistency across a whole season rather than the two weeks of a championships.

Finishing third in the Total Score last time around was Denise Herrmann. She was only 48 points behind Wierer in the end. Obviously her skiing is her big strength but her shooting is improving all the time. She hit the perfect 20 in the Individual last season which takes some biathletes many years to achieve in a race if they do it at all. She put together a great season only finishing outside the top 20 on two occassions. If she hadn’t had a bad round in Hochfilzen she could have had her hands on the big crystal globe.

Another biathlete hoping to snatch the big globe from Wierer is Hanna Oberg. She was 4th last season improving from 5th the season before. I guess that means she will be 3rd this time! She has a good chance this year and can handle the pressure at the top. However she does tend to drop outside the top 10 on too many occasions so she will have to work on consistency. At 25 she is the youngest of our top five favourites as all the others are 30 or 31.

Elsewhere on the World Cup French duo Julia Simon and Justine Braisaz will be looking to add to their victories from last season and to move up in the Overall from 8th and 9th respectively.

Lisa Vittozzi will be hoping that this season goes a lot better for her. She was one of the favourites for the big globe last time around after a stellar season in 18/19. It just didn’t happen for her though with no wins and a 10th place finish in the Total Score.

Searching for their first taste of victory on the World Cup will be Ingrid Tandrevold and Paulina Fialkova. They have both come very close with several 2nd place finishes each. Lena Haecki is also getting to closer to a maiden victory and with a little luck she could do it this time. Monika Hojnisz-Starega had a really impressive year in 2019/20 and will also want to stand on top of the podium for the first time at a World Cup.

Look out for her to break into the top 10 on the Overall and for Marketa Davidova to do the same. If they can cut down on results that fall outside of the top 20 it is a definite possibility for both women.

Other names to keep eye on are Milena Todorova and Elvira Oberg. Both youngsters had stand out performances last season.

This has to be the season when one of the US women finally wins a race! Susan Dunklee has been close on several occasions and Clare Egan could get up there too.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Stina Nilsson. She has switched sports from cross-country to biathlon but may not be seen for a while at World Cup level. Since the IBU Cup doesn’t start until January and the Swedish women’s team is super strong we may not see her race until 2021.

We will be missing Ekaterina Yurlova-Percht this season as she has recently announced she is pregnant with her second child. Congratulations to her!

It will not be a normal year that is for sure so expect some unexpected results along the way. It’s going to be a strange one and the strangest thing so far is writing a preview without Kaisa Makarainen! I’m sure we will see her in Kontiolahti though just not on the tracks.

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Spring Things 2020!

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!

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!