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Even though there is a Summer World Championship, the bulk of the Biathlon calendar features during the winter season. It is a sport that combines skiing and target shooting. The origins can be found in Norwegian folklore, but the development came more from military exercises during the 18th century. Regiments organised skiing competitions that were divided into four classes: shooting at a mark while skiing at top speed, downhill racing on big hills without falling, downhill skiing among trees, and racing on flat ground while required to carry a rifle and military pack. These military exercises would in today’s competitions include downhill, slalom, biathlon and cross-country skiing. The activity that developed into this sport was an exercise for the Norwegian people that formed an alternative to the military training. In 1861, the Trysil Rifle and Ski Club was formed and is now known as one of the world’s first ski clubs. The purpose for the club was to promote national defense at a more local level.   

The modern biathlon we are more familiar with today is a variant created for civilians that include combinations of these military exercises. Det frivillige Skyttervesen was set up by the Norwegian government to promote civilian marksmanship in support of their national defense and until 1984, biathlon was still a branch of this organisation. In Norway, biathlon is called skiskyting, which literally means ski shooting. Military patrols were first contested at the 1924 Winter Olympic Games combining skiing and shooting. Further demonstrations featured in 1928, 1936 and in 1948, but it was only in 1955 that the sport was re-accepted by the International Olympic Committee. This was after the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne et Biathlon recognised it and took on the management of the sport in 1948. Austria was the first nation to host the Biathlon World Championship in 1958 and in 1960 it was finally included in the Olympic Games. It took a long time for biathlon to expand its diversity and by 1992, women were finally permitted to compete for the first time.   

In 1948 the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPMB) was founded with the primary function to standardise the rules of modern pentathlon. From 1953 this also included biathlon. In 1993 the International Biathlon Union (IBU) was created from the biathlon branch and the sport has grown and developed as we know if today under the auspices of the UIPM. The International Biathlon Union has its headquarters in Salzburg, Austria. 

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World Championship

To be confirmed


IBU World Championships - Pokljuka, Slovenia - 9th to 21st February 2021 (results):

4x7.5 km Mixed Relay (M+W): Norway (Sturla Holm Laegreid, Johannes Thingnes Boe, Tiril Eckhoff, Marte Olsbu Roeiseland)

Women 7.5 km Sprint Competition: Tiril Eckhoff (NOR) / Men 10 km Sprint Competition: Martin Ponsiluoma (SWE)

Women 15 km Individual Competition: Marketa Davidova (CZE) / Men 20 km Individual Competition: Sturla Holm Laegreid (NOR)

Single Mixed Relay (M+W): France - Antonin Guigonnat and Julia Simon

Women 4x6 km Relay Competition: Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold, Tiril Eckhoff, Ida Lien and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (NOR)

Men 4x7.5 km Relay Competition: Sturla Holm Laegreid, Tarjei Boe, Johannes Thingnes Boe and Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen (NOR)

Women 12.5 km Mass Start Competition: Lisa Theresa Hauser (AUT) / Men 15 km Mass Start Competition: Sturla Holm Laegreid (NOR)


IBU Youth/Junior World Championships - Obertilliach, Austria - 24th February to 6th March 2021 (results):

Youth Women 10km Individual Competition: Jeanne Richard (FRA) / Youth Men 12.5km Individual Competition: Denis Irodov (RUS)

Junior Women 12.5km Individual Competition: Camille Bened (FRA) / Junior Men 15km Individual Competition: Philipp Lipowitz (GER)

Youth Women 6km Sprint Competition: Lena Repinc (SLO) / Youth Men 7.5km Sprint Competition: Denis Irodov (RUS)

Junior Women 7.5km Sprint Competition: Amy Baserga (SUI) / Junior Men 10km Sprint Competition - Emilien Claude (FRA)

Youth Women 7.5km Pursuit Competition: Lena Repinc (SLO) / Youth Men 10km Pursuit Competition: Denis Irodov (RUS)

Junior Women 10km Pursuit Competition: Amy Baserga (SUI) / Junior Men 12.5km Pursuit Competition: Emilien Claude (FRA)

Youth Women 3x6km Relay Competition: France (Fany Bertrand, Jeanne Richard, Maya Cloetens)

Youth Men 3x7.5km Relay Competition: Poland (Konrad Badacz, Jan Gunka, Marcin Zawol)

Junior Women 4x6km Relay Competition: France (Paula Botet, Eve Bouvard, Sophie Chauveau, Camille Bened)

Junior Men 4x7.5km Relay Competition: France (Oscar Lombardot, Sebastien Mahon, Eric Perrot, Emilien Claude)


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