IBU Summer Biathlon World Champs Kick Off Next Week
The 2017 IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships (SBWCH) will be held in Chaykovskiy, Russia from August 25-27. The competition program will include mixed relays, sprints, and pursuits for juniors and seniors.
Renewed Stadium and Tracks
The venue is in Perm region near the Ural Mountains, 285 km from Perm at 120 meters above sea level. Snezhinka Stadium is a well-known training center for Russian biathletes and cross-country skiers, put into service in 2011 and received an IBU B-license in 2013. Before the SBWCH, the first international event for Chaykovskiy, the renewed shooting range and tracks were tested by the Russian athletes at their national qualifying competitions for the World Championships as well as three other teams, who held camps there.
As many athletes state, the SBWCH is a checkpoint in their summer training; it is a good test to see where they are at the moment. The competitions in Chaykovskiy will offer an opportunity for the 20 registered teams with 74 men and 53 women (seniors and juniors) to see if they are moving in the right direction towards the Olympic season.
Shipulin and Volkov
At the last SBWCH, in Otepaa, Estonia, seven different countries were on the podium, with the Ukrainians taking the most medals: 11 out of 30 possible. This year, in the senior category, Ukraine will be represented by the last year’s double junior Champion Anton Myhda, junior Bronze medalist Maksym Ivko and Oleksander Zhyrnyi, who was third in the men’s pursuit. Host team Russia, which won only 4 medals in Otepaa, will be represented by 6 athletes in each category and strengthened by the Olympic champions Anton Shipulin, Alexey Volkov and Svetlana Sleptsova. The big names representing Russia make them favorites for the event.
Besides the Ukrainians and Russians, there are also some other strong athletes, who will compete for the awards in every competition. Martin Otcenas of Slovakia claimed 5 medals, including 3 Gold, at the last three SBWCH. He undoubtedly will try to defend his sprint and pursuit titles from the last year. His rivals will include Vladimir Chepelin of Belarus, Bulgaria’s Krasimir Anev, Florent Claude of Belgium, and Latvian veteran Ilmars Bricis. The main contenders in the women’s field will be Kristina Ilchenko and Daria Yurkevich of Belarus, Slovakia’s Paulina Fialkova, Galina Vishnevskaya of Kazakhstan and Korea’s Ekaterina Avvakumova. Of course, there is always room for a surprise, and some new names can be atop the podium.
Tickets Sold Out
With high interest from the fans, the 2017 IBU SBWCH promises to be one of the most crowded; despite the fact that tribunes and fan-zones can accommodate 3500 spectators a day; all of the tickets for the competitions were sold out in July! The organizers found a solution. They built fan-zones in Chaykovskiy (able to accommodate about 3000 people) and at the recreation center ‘Razdolie’ (500 people), each with large video screens.
The IBU SBWCH open on August 23 and run through August 27. The complete schedule follows in Central European Time (local time +3 hours). International Live TV coverage is planned for Saturday and Sunday (only for the senior men’s and women’s competitions).
Wednesday, August 23
16:00 Opening Ceremony
Friday, August 25
08:00 Mixed Relay Juniors
11:00 Mixed Relay
Saturday, August 26
07:30 Sprint Junior Women
10:00 Sprint Men
12:30 Sprint Women
15:00 Sprint Junior Men
Sunday, August 27
07:30 Pursuit Junior Women
10:00 Pursuit Men
12:00 Pursuit Women
14:00 Pursuit Junior Men
To get the latest news during the SBWCH, do not forget to follow our official twitter account @IBU_CUP.