IBU Announces Competition Schedule 2020/2021
The International Biathlon Union has announced the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon competition schedule, including the provisional start times, for the upcoming season 2020/2021.
The World Cup will kick off with a new Season Opener in Kontiolahti (FIN) comprising two competition days on the weekend 28-29 November 2020. This first weekend of the season will feature an Individual and a Sprint for both genders with World Cup points available. The highlight of the season, the IBU World Championships Biathlon in Pokljuka (SLO), will take place on 10-21 February 2021. Right after the World Championships, the biathlon family is going to travel to Beijing for the Olympic test event, which is also a regular IBU World Cup. This direct departure after the IBU World Championships allows for the test event to be held at the same time as the Olympic Winter Games will take place the following year.
The season will come to a close in Oslo-Holmenkollen (NOR), with the final competition taking place on 21 March 2021. A new format, the Super Sprint, will celebrate its debut on the World Cup stage. (https://www.biathlonworld.com/about-biathlon/disciplines/super-sprint-this-is-really-fast)
The full schedule can be found here: https://www.biathlonworld.com/calendar/season/2021/
IBU Secretary-General Niklas Carlsson said:
“We can of course not overlook the current challenges the biathlon family faces due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. But despite these uncertain times, we need to look ahead and plan as best we can. The IBU is preparing for the upcoming season without any interruption and we will do our part to make sure our athletes can compete in the best possible and safest circumstances and that fans can enjoy thrilling competitions. We know that we need to remain flexible and might have to adjust plans based on the global health situation and government regulations to contain the virus. The wellbeing of our athletes, officials and fans shall and will always be of paramount importance.”
IBU Sports Director Felix Bitterling added:
“We have talked to the coaches of the World Cup teams to find the best possible schedule for the upcoming season. Based on the outcome of these discussions we have adjusted the competitions for the opening weekend and the World Cup in China has been changed to a different week to make sure that athletes and teams find similar conditions to those expected during Games-time in February 2022.”
Concerning the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships in Ruhpolding (20-23 August 2020), the IBU, the German Ski Association and the Organising Committee in Ruhpolding have taken note of the decision by the German government to cancel all “mass events” in Germany until 31 August 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All three parties are currently evaluating the details of the decision and the consequences for the event and are planning with several options, including an event postponement to a later date. Further updates will be communicated in May to allow enough time for a careful decision in this very dynamic situation. All involved parties agree that not only government regulations but also the principles of a fair competition and equal participation for all nations must be fulfilled.
Photos: Christian Manzoni and Petr Slavik