Tag Archives: Summer World Championships

Spring Things!


(Introducing the new target for 2017/18- ONLY JOKING!)

Shut up! I know it’s Summer but I have been on Spring Break – WOO HOO! NO, not the American college one, the one where I have a biathlon rest to prepare for the new season. As it’s an Olympic and Paralympic season I had an extra month of rest! The fingers needed a scribbling break! 😉

So this is where I catch you up on some of the things that happened in the Spring – the Spring Things! In true Spring style we started with a birth. Martin Fourcade welcomed his second daughter, Ines, at the end of last season. Then Miriam Goessner announced her pregnancy. Of course the Fourcade brothers are very competitive and Simon announced the birth of his first child, a boy called Adam, at the end of May.

At the opposite end of biathlon we had some retirements. Switzerland’s Ivan Joller, Romania’s Eva Tofalvi and Slovakia’s Jana Gerekova all announced the end of their biathlon careers. Gerekova’s was the most unexpected but she said her knees couldn’t take another year. On the bright side though she got married.

Italy’s Lukas Hofer got a nose job. It’s about time I hear you all thinking! How dare you! It was an operation to help with breathing difficulties not for cosmetic purposes! Behave yourselves! 😉

Training got underway at the start of May. The Polish ladies with new coach Tobias Torgersen went to Mallorca to train as did Spain’s Victoria Padial. It was Tenerife for the Ukrainian women and Cyprus for the Swedish team. The Canadian and American teams stayed at home as it’s they only time they get to spend there! The German men went to the Italian Alps. The Italians went to France and France stayed in France! The next time biathletes tell you how hard the sport is don’t believe them. It’s just one long holiday! 😉

Unless of course you decide to train on a bike. First Teja Gregorin had a small fall and scraped her knee which isn’t so bad but then Anais Chevalier got hit by a car and broke her collarbone. Simon Fourcade also had his now annual issue with drivers threatening him. It’s a dangerous business training on the roads!

Speaking of training there are rumours of Ole Einar and Martin Fourcade having a camp together. That won’t be competitive at all! Not content with equalling and beating some of Ole’s records in biathlon Martin is trying to win the family battle with 2 daughters to Ole’s 1! He might get some free samples from Darya’s new clothing range but there is no way he will be allowed in the motor home!

Kaisa Makarainen and Mari Laukkanen did their first orienteering race. The Norwegian Team stood next to some cars – they seem to do that a lot!

I am sad to report the apparent break up of the biathlon band. We saw nothing of them last season and now that Gabi is married and Lowell has a young daughter it seems Jean-Gui has found himself a new band with Baptiste Jouty on drums!

Oh and Freddie Lindstrom got a cat!

There were many other biathletes doing many other things too but I couldn’t cover everything!

Finally there has been no news about the McLaren Report and if anything will happen to the Russian Biathlon Union or their biathletes. You may remember they handed back the World Cup round in Tyumen and the Youth Junior World Championships but it looks like the Summer World Championships will go ahead in Chaykovskiy, Russia in August.

You will be pleased to know that July sees the return of the infamous biathlon23 interviews. Since I neglected them a bit last season and will do so again in this Olympic season it is only fair that I start with some of the young biathletes. Since nearly everyone is going to retire after PyeongChang it’s good to meet them early! 😉

Hopefully I will be catching up with some para biathletes each month too as it is also the Paralympic Games in PyeongChang in March!

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Teja Gregor-win!

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As you probably all know Teja Gregorin is another Slovenia biathlete who comes from Ihan, where all great Slovenian biathletes come from! Along with Klemen Bauer and Peter Dokl she makes up the triangle of talent from the small town. Teja was born in Ljubljana on the 29th of June, 1980 and is her country’s top female biathlete.

She switched to biathlon form cross country skiing and has been a member of the national team since 2002. She has had a pretty amazing career but like a fine Slovenian wine she seems to be getting better with age. In August this year in the Summer Biathlon Championships in Tyumen she won gold in both the Sprint and Pursuit and took bronze in the Mixed Relay. However her best result so far has to be the bronze medal she won in the Olympics in Sochi.

Teja also has a couple of silver medals from the Biathlon World Championships. She won Mixed Relay silver in Ruhpolding 2012 with Andreja Mali, Klemen Bauer and Jakov Fak. Back in Pyeongchang 2009 she claimed an individual medal finishing second in the 15km Individual. She has in fact taken part in 10 World Championships and 3 Olympic Games which makes her one of the most experienced women competing today.

On the World Cup she has been just as successful. She has 4 podium finishes to her name, 2 second places and 2 third places. Her best ever finish in the Total Score came in season 2010/11 when she was 8th overall and last season she came 13th. Since 2005 she has never finished the season outside the TOP 40 overall which is a remarkable achievement and a tribute to her incredible consistency.

There is however one thing missing from Teja’s fantastic career and that is of course a win. She has come close on several occasions but has never stood on the top step yet on the World Cup or in the Winter World Championships. That is why it was so pleasing to see her win in Tyumen this summer. It shows that she can do it and of all the biathletes it is Teja that I would love to see take a win this coming season. I am sure she is desperate to do it too.

So why is it in such a long and consistently good career that she hasn’t won? Well firstly it is really hard to win a race because there are so many great biathletes competing and there is always new talent coming through. Secondly Teja has some issues with her standing shoot. It is essential to victory as it is always the last shoot before the end of every race. Hers is not terrible but her prone stats have never dropped below 90% whereas her stand is normally between 70-80% which makes the crucial difference between coming second or first in the race. Her ski speed is not amongst the TOP10 and this is also a major factor in her results.

At 34 Teja doesn’t have too many years left at the top level but I am sure she will make the most of them. I know all biathlon fans wish her well and we are all hoping that we can soon congratulate Teja on her first Gregor-win!

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Kazar: The Crack Slovak!

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Matej Kazár is one of Slovakia’s top biathletes. He was born on the 10th of May 1983 in Košice. He made his first appearance for Slovakia on the World Cup in 2002 as a member of the relay team and has been a regular since 2005. He scored his first points in 2008 in Ruhpolding by finishing 23rd(good number!) in the Pursuit.

He enjoyed a successful junior career winning gold and silver in the European Championships. However his best results have come in the Summer biathlon competitions. In 2010 he had a stellar year winning gold, silver and bronze in the Pursuit, Sprint and Mixed Relay respectively in the Summer Biathlon World Championships in Duszniki Zdrój in Poland. Not only that but he also won 2 gold medals and a bronze in the European Summer Biathlon Championships in the same year in Osrblie, at home in Slovakia, in the same events. Anyone would think he doesn’t like snow!

In fact his best results on snow have been a 17th place in last year’s Individual in Oestersund and another 17th place in the Pursuit in Kontiolahti in 2011/12.He also has another ten TOP30 finishes to his name, five of which came last year. Actually last year was probably his best season so far. He finished 48th in the Total Score by coming 45th in the Individual standings,52nd in the Sprint,44th in the Pursuit and helping Slovakia to a 12th place finish in the Nations Cup.

This season his best result so far came in the Sprint race in Annecy. He finished 26th but didn’t do so well in the Pursuit coming 39th because of 4 missed targets. Matej needs to become more consistent and try and achieve TOP 20 and 30 results on a more regular basis. This however is easier said than done as there are so many great male biathletes competing just now and more good up and coming ones to try and beat. Matej can’t afford to worry about them though, he just needs to concentrate on himself. Some TOP 20 finishes in Sochi would be a massive confidence boost and with a teammate like Anastasiya Kuzmina you never know what could happen in the mixed relay. Maybe he needs to pretend he is on rollerskis to get some good results and we will all see what The Crack Slovak is capable of!

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Vamos Victoria!

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Having visited the beautiful Andalusian city of Granada, Spain it’s not the kind of place you would imagine as the home of a biathlete. But that’s exactly what it is. Granada is the home to Spain’s first Olympic biathlete Victoria Padial Hernandez. The 25 year old has been cross country skiing from a young age and took up the sport of biathlon in 2007.

In her first 3 years of competing she managed to qualify for the IBU Cup, the World Cup and also the Vancouver Olympic Games. A pretty meteoric rise considering that she has done it all with only the assistance of her coach, family and sponsors without any funding or help from Spain’s funding bodies. A common occurrence in fact from athletes who are not from traditional winter sports countries.

Despite this she has put in some very good performances on the World Cup. Her best result came in Sochi where she finished 40th in the Individual event – a good sign for the forthcoming Olympics. She also finished 44th in the Oberhof Sprint and 45th in the same event at the World Championships in Nove Mesto. A 47th in Holmenkollen and 49th in Oberhof were her best results in the Pursuit.

This summer seems to have gone well for Victoria as she achieved an excellent bronze medal in the Summer World Championships held in Italy. She finished a creditable 8th in the Sprint and turned that into 3rd in the Pursuit. Hopefully these results will translate onto the snow and she will be able to break in to the Top 40 on a regular basis.

Victoria had a pretty consistent season last year finishing regularly from around 40th to 60th position. She needs to improve on her standing shoot but she has plenty of time to do this and the more experience she gains through the World Cup and Olympics the better she will get. Her summer experience should help her in this and maybe the fact that this is an Olympic year. Seasons that contain an Olympic Games can often throw up some unusual results as the top athletes can take their eye of the ball a little to concentrate on the Games. If Padial can take advantage of this and continue her great progression we may see her in the Top 30 and she can show the Spanish authorities what they are missing.

Vamos Victoria!

For more information about Victoria in English and Spanish check out her website:
http://victoriapadial.es/
She has a calendar out now!
She is also on Facebook and Twitter and also has her own channel on Youtube! Where she gets time to train for biathlon with all these social media committments I do not know!;-)

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