The Sports Examiner

BIATHLON Preview: World Championships start in Oestersund

Italy's Lisa Vittozzi (Photo: IBU)

The Swedish winter wonderland of Oestersund will be the setting for 11 days of the IBU World Championships, with a busy schedule:

07 March: Mixed Relay (2+2)
08 March: Women’s 7.5 km Sprint
09 March: Men’s 10 km Sprint
10 March: Women’s 10 km Pursuit and Men’s 12.5 km Pursuit
12 March: Women’s 15 km Individual
13 March: Men’s 20 km Individual
14 March: Single Mixed Relay
16 March: Women’s 4×6 km Relay and Men’s 4×7.5 km Relay
17 March: Women’s 12.5 km Mass Start and Men’s 15 km Mass Start

The men’s World Cup season has been dominated by Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe, who has won 14 races out of the 20 contested! He’s won five of seven Sprints, four of six Pursuits, one of two Individual races and two of three Mass start races.

The other winners have been Martin Fourcade (FRA: 2), Alexandr Loginov (RUS: 1), Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA: 2) and Vetle Sjastad Christiansen (NOR: 1).

Fourcade’s string of seven straight World Cup overall titles will come to an end this season, but he is a 11-time World Champion and 25-time medal winner. Boe, still just 25, has three world titles: the 2015 10 km Sprint and 2016 Mass Start, and a relay. He won three silvers in 2017.

The women’s World Cup race is so close that there are five different possible seasonal winners. There have been 11 different winners on tour this season, including seasonal leader Dorothea Wierer (ITA: 2 races), current runner-up Lisa Vittozzi (ITA: 2), Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen (3), Norway’s Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (3), Anastasiya Kuzmina (SVK: 2) and six who have won one each: Yuliia Dzhima (UKR), Franziska Preuss (GER), Marketa Davidova (CZE), and Germans Laura Dahlmeier and Tina Hermann.

Dahlmeier has had the most World Champs success of this group, with 13 career medals, including seven golds – five in 2017! – plus three silvers and three bronzes. Makarainen has six career medals (1-1-4).

This is the third time that Oestersund has hosted the Biathlon Worlds, also in 1970 and 2008. Look for results here.

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