“Spectacular” IBU World Championships Close in Östersund
The IBU World Championships Biathlon closed tonight in Östersund, Sweden, after delivering on the promise of innovation and thrilling competitions.
IBU President Olle Dahlin described the World Championships as “spectacular” as they closed with Norway at the top of the medal table, claiming a total of nine medals. Germany and Italy followed in second and third place respectively. In total, 10 of the 37 participating nations won medals.
The usual fan-favorite events proved as popular as ever, with a hundred thousand watching live in the stadia and millions more across the world watching live on TV, in both traditional and new territories. Prior to the final weekend, TV hours viewed were already up by 15% compared to the World Championships 2017.
The fan-favorite events were supplemented with the exciting new Single Mixed Relay event (6 km W/ 7.5 km M), in which Norway's Johannes Thingnes Bø and Marte Olsbu Røiseland made history. The introduction of this additional event is a reflection of the IBU’s commitment to gender equality and innovating formats to keep the sport as attractive as possible to athletes and fans from a broad variety of nations.
IBU President Olle Dahlin said:
“It has been a privilege to be in Östersund over the past two weeks for the IBU World Championships Biathlon. The Biathlon family has witnessed 300 of the world’s best athletes from almost 40 countries competing to become World Champion. All athletes, whether they have left with a world title or not, have been a credit to the sport, to their country and most importantly to themselves.
“The Organizing Committee must be highly commended for staging this spectacular event. This has been a great advert for the future of the sport as we look to take biathlon into a new era. This has set a very high benchmark for future editions to follow, but I have every confidence that our friends in Italy will live up to expectations when we head to Antholz-Anterselva next February.”
This year’s World Championships were the first held under the leadership of President Dahlin and came at a time when significant progress is being made in reforming the federation.