Tag Archives: Terezia Poliakova

Spring Things 2021!

It’s Olympic and Paralympic season! Good – because we love the races for the gold medals – bad because it usually marks the end of a lot of careers and I forecast a lot of tears for both these things!

However they are still in the future in February and March 2022 so it’s back to the present and a round up of everything that happened in spring.

Athlete things

We have had a couple of post season retirements on the women’s side with Nicole Gontier of Italy and Irina Starykh of Russia calling it a day. Bulgaria’s Vladimir Oryashkov hung up his rifle too due to persisitent injuries. We also had a country swap with Natalia Ushkina officially racing for Romania next season instead of Russia.

There was also a sport swap with Italy’s Guiseppe Montello heading to cross country. Normally I would not approve of such a heinous move but after all his back problems it’s probably a good idea not to carry a rifle any longer. I’m sure he will show those FIS types how it’s done!

Personal things

Evgeniya Pavlova got married and so did Ulina Kaisheva and so they will be Evgeniya Burtasova and Uliana Nigmatullina this season. Olena Pidhrushna will also use her married name Bilosiuk. Marion Diegentesch will be Wiesensarter after her wedding. Carsen Campbell got married too but he will keep his surname!

Simon Desthieux and Celia Aymonier became parents for the first time to a boy. Ekaterina Yurlova-Percht had a daughter and so did Terezia Poliakova. Hanna Sola got engaged as did Estonian couple Regina Oja and Kalev Ermits. Congratulations to all! They also have a new coach with Fiodor Svoboda taking over the Estonian team.

Coaching things

Elsewhere on the coaching roundabout or should that be roller coaster we saw Adam Kolodziejczyk take over the Polish team with Justyna Kowalczyk-Tekieli (yes the cross country legend herself!) as sports director.

Uros Velepec left Slovenia to return to the Ukrainian women’s team which means Juraj Sanitra will be in charge of just the men’s team this season after doing both roles last year. Janez Marič replaces Velepec as the men’s coach for Slovenia.

IBU things

The IBU have been busy improving their environmental credentials launching an initiative to plant 100,000 trees in May asking fans to earn trees through exercise. It was a big success. They also finally announced a ban on fluoro ski wax based products specifically C8 fluorocarbons.

An academy education manager has been appointed to help with education, research and to help biathletes compete and study for future careers at the same time. Athlete ambassadors have also been selected to raise awareness across three areas: integrity matters, gender equality and sustainability.

There have also been changes to the calendar with the scheduled round in Minsk-Raubichi being swapped to Kontiolahti due to the political situation in Belarus. The season opening which was to be hosted by Kontiolahti will now take place in Oestersund just before round 1 of the World Cup ….in Oestersund!

Other things

Biathlon Canada have launched a video series called Sights on Beijing detailing their preparation for the Olympics. You can find them on their youtube page.

In injury news Amanda Lightfoot fell off her bike on a fast downhill descent and landed on her face. Fortunately she was ok with some facial injuries and a hurt knee but it could have been a lot worse. There has also been a lot of road rash pictures on social media from the likes of Ingrid Tandrevold, Sarah Beaudry, Regina Oja and Lena Haecki from rollerski accidents. Emilien Jacquelin fractured his wrist.

Justus Strelow can ride a unicycle! Vetle Christiansen has dyed his hair blonde and Sturla Laegreid had all his hair cut off! Hopefully he will not have the same issues as Samson!

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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!

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World Champs 2016: The Sprints!

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On Saturday we had both Sprint races at the World Championships in Holmenkollen. The Men’s race took place first in the morning and the Women raced in the afternoon.

The Men’s race was a masterclass in biathlon from probably the two best biathletes of all time. Martin Fourcade was imperious shooting clean and skiing fast to win the race by nearly 27 seconds. He was bib 8 and so spent the rest of the race watching everyone else fall by the wayside and fail to seriously challenge him. His closest challenger I am pleased to report was Ole Einar Bjoerndalen who took the silver medal which is amazingly his 30th Championship medal. He looked fit and slim and if only he wasn’t 42 I think the gold could have been his. I told you he would win a medal, didn’t I! In third place was an excellent Sergey Semenov. After his strong performance in the Mixed Relay is was no surprise he shot clean to win bronze.

It wasn’t such a good day for some other biathletes though. Johannes Boe missed a target and finished just off the podium in fourth. A terrible place to finish in your home World Championships. Still at least he did better than big brother Tarjei who had a nightmare and finished in 54th missing 4 shots. Emil Svendsen missed 1 target but finished in 17th at 1 minute 15 seconds from the winner. Anton Shipulin had a bad race in bib 1. Simon Schempp fell on the finishing straight after catching his pole on his ski and lost valuable seconds for the Pursuit race. His teammate Arnd Peiffer shot clean but could do no better than 7th.

The other biathletes who shot 10/10 apart from the three medallists and Peiffer were Leif Nordgren, Anton Babikov, Cornel Puchianu,Oleksander Zhyrnyi, Kauri Koiv, Michail Kletcherov,Mikito Tachizaki, Vassiliy Podkorytov, Maxim Braun and Mehmet Ustuntas.

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If the crowd weren’t already happy enough with Bjoerndalen’s silver medal they were ecstatic after the Women’s race. Home favourite Tiril Eckhoff shot 10/10 and won the race by 15 seconds. She has turned a disappointing season into the best season of her life! The silver medal went to last year’s champion Marie Dorin Habert who also shot clear but was out skied by Eckhoff. Bronze medal went to Laura Dahlmeier who missed one shot. It was a fantastic performance by Eckhoff. Her season has not been great and her shooting has let her down time after time but in the race with most pressure on her she delivered. The noise from the crowd when she hit a target was phenomenal and she did so well to cope with it. It was an outstanding display.

Mona Brorsson got her career best result in the race shooting clean and finishing 6th. Most of the big names in the Women’s field made the top ten with Soukalova in 4th, Wierer 5th, Makarainen 9th and Hildebrand 10th which makes for a very interesting Pursuit race.

There was a lot of good shooting from the Women with clear rounds for Eckhoff, Dorin Habert, Wierer, Brorsson, Vitkova, Hildebrand, Iryna Varvynets, Jialin Tang, Hannah Dreissigacker, Ingela Andersson, Teja Gregorin, Susanne Hoffmann, Terezia Poliakova, Jessica Jislova, Emilia Yordanova, Meril Beilmann and Hyesuk Hwang.

That concludes the Sprint races and they were both great to watch. It was great to see Bjoerndalen do so well and Sergey Semenov was fantastic. Can anyone beat Fourcade in the Pursuit tomorrow? Probably only himself! The Women’s race has the makings of a classic though. Could it be another gold for Norway or France or will Germany get a first gold? It’s anyone’s race for the ladies. Don’t miss it!

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