A third of the biathlon season at the World Cup is already over. And so far the battles of the best are really amazing. Compared to last year, the composition of the leaders has changed significantly and the results of the races are often unpredictable. This season clearly sets new trends. We’ve highlighted the five most important ones for you.
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The only thing that remains stable year after year is the dominance of the Norwegian men’s team. This season, the Scandinavians extended their relay winning streak to nine races, winning starts in Östersund and Hochfilzen.
The Norwegians also showed great class in the individual races. They won 16 of the 24 medals awarded, and only athletes from Norway were on the podium in three starts. It is not surprising that the Scandinavians have completely conquered the first places in the general classification of the World Cup. There are now six Norwegians in the top seven: Johannes and Tarjei Boe, Johannes Dahle-Sevdal, Endre Strömsheim, Sturla Holm Lægreid and Vetle Sosta Christiansen.
In Lenzerheide the Norwegians took five places in the top six. Incredible result!
The Norwegians felt seized by sporting rage. They beat the Germans and took the entire World Cup podium
The only one who stands out from this group is Vebjorn Sørum, who is in 15th place in the general classification. But here everything is understandable: the young biathlete missed the chase sequence in Switzerland.
It is evident that the dominance of the Norwegians will continue, because the results of the Scandinavians cannot fall at lightning speed. It is still difficult for other teams to compete with opponents like this. Although the prerequisites are starting to appear.
The rise of the German team
Perhaps the main contender to compete with Norway is the German team. The results of both the men’s and women’s teams have skyrocketed this season. The only non-Norwegian in the top seven of the World Cup is the German Philipp Navrath.
Three more athletes entered the top ten: Benedikt Doll (8th place), Justus Strehlow (11th place), Johannes Kühn (12th place). In addition, the Germans won six medals at the start of the World Cup, which is the second result after the 16 medals of the Norwegians.
Incredible results from the German team! It has been a long time since we have seen such agility on the part of the Germans:
The Germans are doing wonders in the World Cup. They haven’t done it this well in a long time!
The women’s team’s results have also improved significantly. Despite the departure of Denise Herrmann-Wick, Germany still has medals. The undisputed leader of the Bundesteam was Franziska Preuss, who ended last season early due to illness. The German missed the stage in Hochfilzen due to the coronavirus, but still sits in fifth place overall. This season, Franziska earned two individual silvers and never dropped below seventh place in the individual races. Vanessa Voigt also got into the top 8 of the World Cup, with two personal bronzes.
It is still unclear what had such a strong impact on the growth of the results of the entire team. This is probably due to proper off-season preparation. We can only hope that this German agility continues until the end of the season. After all, only then will we be able to follow the intriguing races, at least among men.
Photo: Jasmin Walter/Getty Images
French women are future leaders
Progress is also noticeable in another team: the French women’s team. If last season the undisputed leader was Julia Simon and the rest of the French women were lost in their context, now the team has a powerful nucleus of three biathletes who are among the top 10 in the general classification.
Lou Jeanmonnot, Julia Simon and Justine Brézat-Boucher between them won six of the 24 medals, five of which were gold. In the total, the French women are also quite close: Justine is first, Julia is sixth and Lou is tenth.
How Justine Brezat-Boucher won the first race of the season:
There is another unexpected champion in the Biathlon World Cup. This season is full of surprises!
The results of the “tricolors” could have been better, but Simon and Breza-Boucher needed a lot of time to improve: they began to show outstanding results gradually, only in the second and third stages of the World Cup. Jeanmonneau, after takeoff in Östersund, slowed down a little and then became completely ill with coronavirus, almost completely missing the stage in Lenzerheide.
Given the trend, the French, who try to combine excellent movements and good shots, will clearly impose a fight this season and will be at the top. Justine Brezat-Boucher, for her part, is one of the main favorites in the fight for the Great Crystal Globe.
The slight decline of the Norwegian women favors the rise of the French and German women to the top positions. If two years ago, and even last season, the women’s team dominated as well as the men’s, now the Scandinavians no longer have such total dominance. This is largely due to the departure of leaders Marte Rüiseland and Tiril Eckhoff.
Rüiseland recently became a mother for the first time!
Marte Rüiseland was a mother for the first time. She gave birth to a son
This season, the Norwegian girls won two World Cup relays and took 6 of the 24 individual medals, with team leader Ingrid Tandrevold winning four medals. In the general classification only two Norwegian biathletes are in the top 10: Tandrevold is second leader and Caroline Knotten is eighth.
At the same time, the Scandinavian debutants perform quite well: Juni Arnekleive and Marit Skogan. Both biathletes achieved their first medals and repeatedly finished in the top 10.
Photo: Jasmin Walter/Getty Images
Heterogeneity of results
In general, one of the main trends of this season is the heterogeneity of results. It is often impossible to predict exactly who will win a particular race. The fact is that the results and form of the different teams are leveling out little by little.
This applies even to men’s biathlon. Despite the dominance of the Norwegians, the Germans and Swedes often took the podium. Yes, not even Johannes Boe won all the races: he received support from both athletes from other countries and biathletes from the Norwegian team.
The main sensation of this season is the silver of the Swiss Lena Hecky-Gross:
The Swiss biathlete sensationally beat the leader of the Norwegian team at the finish line. That?!
Of course, the tendency towards unpredictable results applies more to women’s biathlon. Among the top ten in the general classification were representatives of six countries: three French, two Norwegians, two Germans, one Swede, one Swiss and one Italian. And each of these athletes is truly capable of competing for medals in every race.
We hope that the competition remains this close until the end of the season, because watching races where there is intrigue is much more interesting.