Hello and welcome to the 8th annual Biathlon23 awards. The alternative awards for biathlon which represent the important things in the sport like the ski suits and rifle design. They are among the most prestigious and most sought after awards and this season there are a few new ones. It has been noted at Biathlon23 HQ, with outrage I might add, that many awards have now gone online like the Oscars and the Golden Globes! How dare they! The Biathlon23 awards have always been online and I resent these other so-called awards trying to get in on the action! Who even watches them anyway? As the famous saying goes: If it’s not biathlon, it’s crap!
The awards are of course subject to a rigorous system used to ensure fairness in the nominations and winners – I pick them and it’s totally biased! Read, enjoy and feel free to disagree! 🙂
Most hits on the blog (so most popular):
I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. I made that up myself – good right! 😉 A child isn’t winning the award but it is a junior athlete this season! Biathlon23 likes to promote our younger athletes and it has finally paid off with the most hits this season. I assure you this was from the quality of the interview and not because she shared it on her instagram page! 😉
Winner: Anna Gandler
A new award this season for the best shot on the tour. The only one not decided by me but by statistics (ish!). It gets complicated here because the best shooting percentage goes to Alina Kolomiyets with a 96% hit rate. However that was calculated only on 30 shots of which she hit 29 which is of course impressive. The winner had a hit rate of 93% which he shared with 2 other athletes but he took a lot more shots. Hitting 392/420 is ridiculous – imagine missing just 28 shots all season. He is a legend though!
Winner: Simon Eder
Best comedy performance:
A new award this season and the first contender is Tiril Eckhoff for her infamous ‘eat, sleep and maybe make some love’ Christmas plans. Dorothea Wierer’s Magic Mike dancing was up there too as was Johannes Dale ‘forgetting’ to choose Tarjei Boe in his dream mixed relay team while Tarjei was standing next to him! The winner though can not only make a noise like a Formula1 car but also in her commentary for World Radio day came out with the phrase “Three spares needed, I’m sweating down to my bum!”
Winner: Eva Puskarcikova
Another of the new awards. Two contenders for this award. First Dorothea Wierer for her brain freeze in the mass start in Oestersund. Coming into the very windy range in second place she froze on the mat and lost track of time passing. She was there for over 2 minutes and still missed 3 targets eventually finishing 26th. The winner though doesn’t really have wind as an excuse. He missed all 5 targets in his prone shoot in the Pokljuka mass start and finished last. Then 2 weeks later in the next race, the men’s relay in Nove Mesto, he missed 7/8 prone targets even with 3 spares! Lucky for him he is so amazing at the pursuit!
Winner: Emilien Jacquelin
The GIFs on Instagram and now Twitter too are great. We had a bit of zen from Aita Gasparin, some shooting from Amanda Lightfoot and Roberts Slotins, a mike drop from Lisa Hauser and some mask work from Johannes Boe and Vetle Christiansen. There was also Joanne Reid emerging from behind Deedra Irwin and then a lot of swiping up! The winner is clear. Somehow he managed to become the ‘mind blown’ emoji in human form. Amazing work!
Winner: Erik Lesser
There were quite a lot of good falls this season mostly in Oberhof! Lisa Hauser fell on the downhill corner and broke her rifle. Julia Schwaiger did a fall, spin and slide but somehow managed to miss the other athletes around her. Sebastian Samuelsson tripped himself up in the home straight and face planted into the snow. My favourite was two women coming down the hill in the Antholz women’s relay. One fell and then wiped the other out too! If you are going to fall you may as well make it spectacular!
Winner: Eva Puskarcikova and Suvi Minkkinen
Best rifle design:
Good news rifle fans we have a few contenders this season although I have to say the majority of rifles are still unbelievably boring! Doro went all metallic, Anastasiya Merkushyna has a paw print, Aita Gasparin has a lion’s face as does Darya Blashko. The lion is popular but so is the unicorn. This year’s winner is the unicorn and it’s a dabbing unicorn at that although it has been mistaken for a ghost and a moomin! 😉
Winner: Evgeniya Pavlova
Best ski suit:
The new Latvian ski suit for World Champs was very nice and an improvement on the old one. Little changed elsewhere but one ski suit stood out. Not just for it’s design but who it was designed by! The suit has great detail around the thigh and also up the back of the calf just above the ski boot and represents its country’s colours well despite there being no green! It was designed by Ukaleq Slettemark and I wish more athletes would get involved like her.
Worst ski suit:
There were not alot of bad ski suits this season mainly because most of them stayed the same. One change however was not for the better! A slight change to the green and red stripes that now make it look like the athlete was dragged through a hedge backwards rather than having their veins on show has not helped much. It’s not the first time this country has won this award and I don’t think it will be the last!
A difficult choice this season! There were two wins and a World Championship silver medal to choose from! Tarjei Boe took a sprint win in bib23 and Anais Chevalier-Bouchet took World silver also in the sprint. It was the winner of the individual race who takes this award though. It was the first race of the women’s season and on the first day of action. She hit 20/20 to take her only win of the season which just proves it was all thanks to bib23!
Winner: Dorothea Wierer
A lot of people made good steps forward this season. Ingrid Tandrevold made good progress especially after her medal winning performances at the World Championships. Dzinara Alimbekava also took a leap up the rankings and her first win. Sturla Laegreid had a fabulous season but he was consistently good from the first race. The winner has been on the World Cup for a long time and had never been on the podium until this season! She achieved that and then went on on to win her first race and then her first World Title all in the space of two months. That is what I call improvement!
Winner: Lisa Teresa Hauser
Best Team Performance:
The German men’s relay team were a contender for this after they finally won a relay for the first time in ages. Also the whole Norwegian team after they topped the nations score ranking for both men and women. The winners however made history by winning the women’s relay globe for the first time. They won two races in a super competitive season and had to fight hard to do it especially in the final race.
Winner: Swedish women’s relay team
Biathlon23’s performance of the season:
So many to choose from this season. Just about all of Tiril’s races, Sturla’s amazing individuals, Emilien’s perfect World Champs pursuit the list goes on. Here at Biathlon23 we love an underdog! So performance of the year doesn’t go to the big guns who win a lot. This season it goes to a pair of biathletes who got everything right at the same time on the same day to earn their country an unexpected podium finish in the Nove Mesto single mixed relay. Using just 7 spares between them and beating the likes of France, Austria and Russia to third place.
Winner: Susan Dunklee and Sean Doherty
IBU Biathlete of the Year:
As they say in Highlander ‘there can only be one.’ A very easy decision this season as one biathlete stood head and shoulders above the rest. Overcoming a tough end to last season when she lost the Overall Title in the final race she wasn’t going to let that happen again. It was a record breaking, history making season becoming the first biathlete to win 7 sprint races in a row. Taking maximum points to win the sprint and pursuit crystal globes and winning the Overall Title with a week to spare it was a phenomenal World Cup season. She also won 4 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze at World Championships! The only race she didn’t win a medal in was the individual when she was 23rd! The best place to finish if you’re not on the podium! 😉
Winner: Tiril Eckhoff
IPC Para-biathlete of the Year:
There were only two World Cup rounds in para biathlon this season and just 5 races. Four biathletes made a clean sweep of them in their categories and they were Vladislav Lekomtsev (standing), Ivan Golubkov (sitting), Vera Khlysova (VI) and one other. The first three all won the overall for the second year in row but our winner came from 8th last season in the women’s standing to take the title by winning every race against really tough opposition mainly from her own teammates.
Winner: Liudmyla Liashenko
Junior Biathlete of the Year:
There were two main contenders for this award. Switzerland’s Amy Baserga had a great Junior World Championships in Obertilliach. After just missing the podium in 4th in the individual she went on to win gold in the sprint and pursuit. She also got some good results at IBU Cup level and made her World Cup debut in Oestersund. Our winner did even better. He made his World Cup debut in Oberhof and finished 33rd in his first race. He then went on to win a silver medal at the Open European Championships in the single mixed relay before winning gold at the Junior Champs in the sprint, pursuit and relay with bronze in the individual!
Winner: Emilien Claude
Youth Biathlete of the Year:
The Youth World Championships were held in Obertilliach in February and it was the only competition for the young athletes this season. There were a few contenders for this award. Firstly Slovenia’s Lena Repinc who won gold medals in the sprint and pursuit as well as silver in the individual and relay. She also raced at the World Championships in Pokljuka and took a very impressive 5th place on the IBU Cup in Arber. Campbell Wright from New Zealand also raced at World Champs and also took an impressive 5th place on the IBU Cup in Arber! However the winner won three gold medals sweeping the events in Obertilliach. It was a fantastic performance from the Russian youngster.
Winner: Denis Irodov
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