Tag Archives: Vera Khlyzova

The Biathlon23 Awards 20/21!

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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜‰

Winner: Anna Gandler

Golden shot:

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

Epic fail:

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

Best GIF:

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

Best fall:

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! πŸ˜‰

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.

Winner: Greenland

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!

Winner: Bulgaria

Best Biathlete23:

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

Biggest Improver:

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! πŸ˜‰

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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Vuokatti 2021: Para Biathlon!

The second and final World Cup of the season got underway on Thursday the 25th of March in Vuokatti, Finland. Some teams made it to this event that missed Planica like Canada, Great Britain and Belarus and some teams didn’t attend like France and the USA.

It’s a stange season to be awarding World Cup winners with just two rounds and some athletes racing one World Cup and not another and some not racing at all. However thats’s the season we have and it’s good that there were at least some races with the Paralympic Games coming up in under a year’s time.

There were only two biathlon races on the schedule and they were the sprint and individual events.

In the absence of Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch the women’s sitting races were wide open. The sprint went to Anja Wicker from Germany shooting 10/10. In fact the shooting was sublime with second placed Natalia Kocherova and third placed Irina Guliaeva also shooting zero. Wicker came out on top in the individual too, in front of Kocherova and Marta Zainulllina, meaning she took the overall title and did so by hitting every single target in the 5 races in the season.

The men’s sitting sprint was won by Ivan Golubkov with 9/10, his teammate Danila Britik shot the same in second place and there was a perfect shoot for Taras Rad in third. It was a great day for the British team on the range with all three athletes, Scott Meenagh, Steve Arnold and Calum Deboys, shooting 10/10. With victory in the individual, over Rad and Britik, Golubkov finished the season undefeated and took the overall title.

In the visually impaired (VI) races the biathletes shoot with their ears instead of their eyes by listening for the sound of the laser getting closer and closer to the target. In the women’s sprint it was Vera Khylzova with guide Natalia Iakimova who was victorious. She hit 10/10 to finish ahead of Sviatlana Sakhanenka who is guided by former IBU biathlete Dzmitry Budzilovich. She hit 7/10 but still held off Iuliia Smirnova who shot clean for third place with guide Eduard Berezin. Khylzova won the individual ahead of Oksana Shyshkova and Smirnova to secure the overall title with just 1 missed target all season.

In the men’s VI sprint it was victory for Belarus with Yury Holub with guide, former World Cup biathlete, Vladimir Chepelin. He missed two shots but still beat Stanislas Chokhlaev and Nikolai Polukhin into second and third even though they both hit all 10. Holub didn’t race the individual and so this time Chokhlaev took the win ahead of Iaroslav Reshetynskyi and Vasili Shapsiaboi and with it the overall title.

There were no surprises in the standing races with Vladislav Lekomtsev winning the men’s race to head a clean sweep of the podium by Russia. Vitalii Malyshev was second and Ivan Kodlozerov third. All three men hit 9/10. Victory in the individual, ahead of Gygorii Vovchynskyi and Kodlozerov, meant a clean sweep of the races for Lekomtsev and the overall title.

In the women’s standing it was Ukraine on top of the podium with Liudmyla Liashenko in first place ahead of compatriot Yuliia Batenkova-Bauman both with 9/10. Third place went to Ekaterina Rumyantseva with 7/10. Liashenko also won the individual race with Batenkova-Bauman and Rumyantseva again behind her to take the overall with the pefect season winning all her races.

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Planica 2021: Para-Biathlon!

After cancellations, rescheduling, more cancellations and rescheduling the para-biathlon World Cup finally got underway in March! It can only be Covid that makes a winter sport begin it’s season in spring!

There were a few countries not making this round like Canada, Norway, Belarus and Great Britain but there were still plenty of competitors to line up at the start.

We got underway in Slovenia with the biathlon middle event. It’s the 10km race with 4 shoots. First to race were the men in the visually impaired (VI) category. The win went to the Russian Stanislav Chokhlaev with guide Oleg Kolodiichuk after he hit 19/20. With the perfect 20 hits in second was his compatriot Nikolai Polukhin and guide Eduard Berezin. Third went to Ukraine’s Iaroslav Reshetynskyi and guide Denys Nikulin with 18/20.

In the women’s VI race there was another 1-2 for Russia with Vera Khlyzova and guide Natalia Iakimova hitting 20/20 for the win and Iuliia Smirnova with guide Roman Tarasov shooting 19/20 in second. Ukraine were again third with Oksana Shyshkova and guide Andriy Marchenko getting 20/20 to round off some impressive shooting from the ladies.

In the standing it was Russia’s Vladislav Lekomtsev who struck gold despite missing 2 shots. Frenchman Benjamin Daviet hit 19/20 in second place while Ivan Kodlozerov hit the perfect 20 in third.

The women’s standing saw Ukraine sweep the podium with Liudmyla Liashenko winning the battle of the teammates hitting all 20. Iryna Bui was second with 18 hits and Yuliia Batenkova-Bauman was third with 19/20.

The sitting gold also went to Russia with Ivan Golubkov missing 1. Germany’s Martin Fleig was second with a perfect shoot and Ukraine’s Taras Rad rounded off the podium in third with 19/20.

The women’s sitting was the now usual fight between the American pair Kendall Grestch and Oksana Masters. Masters came out on top in this one despite two misses to Gretsch’s one. Russia’s Marta Zainullina was third also with 1 miss.

The second event was the Individual which at 12.5km is the longest event. There were second wins for Lekomtsev, Liashenko, Masters, Golubkov and Khlysova however in the men’s VI there was a reversal with Polukhin beating Chokhlaev thanks to some great shooting. He hasn’t missed a shot yet getting 40/40 over two races.

Vladimir Khairullin took third place in the men’s VI with guide Dmitrii Gorshkov making it a podium sweep for Russia. Shyshkova took second in the women’s VI with Germany’s Vivian Hoesch and guide Alexander Wilde in third.

Gretsch and Zainullina were again second and third behind Masters and in the men’s sitting it was second place for Rad and third for Aleksandr Davidovich behind winner Golubkov.

It was another 1-2-3 for Ukraine with Batenkova-Bauman and Oleksandra Kononova coming home behind Liashenko in the women’s standing. Aleksandr Pronkov broke up great rivals Lekomtsev and Daviet by finishing second behind his teammate and in front of the Frenchman who was third.

The final races were the 6 km 2 shoot sprints and I’m not going to lie there were no real surprises. Taking three wins from three were Lekomtsev, Liashenko, Khylzova, Masters and Golubkov. Chokhlaev made it back to the top of the podium with his second win.

Completing the podiums were Benjamin Daviet and Ivan Kodlozerov in the men’s standing and Iryna Bui and Oleksandra Kononova in the women’s.

Kendall Gretsch was second in the women’s sitting and Germany’s Anja Wicker got her first podium of the season in third. In the men’s race it was teammates Taras Rad and Vasyl Kravchuk who finished in the podium spots.

Nikolai Polukhin was second in the men’s VI (he missed 1 shot to shoot 49/50 for the 3 races) and Reshetynskyi was third. For the women it was second place again for Smirnova and another podium for Germany with Clara Klug and guide Martin Hartl in third.

The second and final World Cup will take place in Vuokatti, Finland on the 25th and 26h of March where we will hopefully see some of the Canadian team and the British team back in action. The French team are not attending.

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Season Review 2019/20: Para biathlon!

Yury Holub

Just when para biathlon finally gets it’s own World Championships without a cross country skier in sight along comes a global pandemic and it gets cancelled!!! What are the chances?!

Normally the para nordic world championships are with both biathlon and cross country but this season it was going to be biathlon only – the dream! However they were cancelled the night before they were due to start in Oestersund. It’s a shame but the health and safety of the world comes first and there will be more chances to hold them in the future.

Before that anti-climax there were three World Cup rounds in Lillehammer, Altenberg and Finsterau. How very biathlon – Norway and two rounds in Germany! πŸ˜‰

As you know there are three categories in para biathlon; sitting, standing and visually impaired (VI) and they are for both men and women so you get six races a day and six world cup winners! In your face IBU! πŸ˜‰

Taking his first world cup title in biathlon in the visually impaired category was Yury Holub from Belarus. He won two out of the seven races across the season and was consistently on the podium which ensured he would win the crystal globe in a very competitive field. In the women’s VI it was Russia’s Vera Khlyzova who was victorious overall.

In fact Russia took three world cup titles this season on the team’s return to action after being banned due to the ‘Sochi shenanigans’.

Vladislav Lekomtsev dominated the men’s standing with 5 wins from 7 races reminding everyone what a tough customer he is! The men’s sitting saw simliar success for Ivan Golubkov who won four races to clinch the crystal globe ahead of Martin Fleig of Germany.

The women’s standing went to Ukraine who have many talented biathletes in this category. Oleksandra Kononova took the title for the second year in a row fighting off competition from teammate Iryna Bui.

The women’s sitting title went to American sharpshooter Kendall Gretsch who makes Annie Oakley look like an average shot! πŸ˜‰ She also claimed the crystal globe for the second season in succession winning four of the seven races.

Next season the biathlon world championships will be held in Lillehammer in February 2021 – hopefully!

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