The IBU, Blinkfestival and Martin Fourcade Nordic Festival (MFNF) have reached an agreement which, starting in 2022, will see greater cooperation between the three organisations with a view to creating a coordinated series of summer biathlon events.
In 2022, the race formats for Blinkfestival and MFNF will be aligned allowing for qualification options between the three events. From 2023, a recognised summer biathlon series will be held with the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships serving as the final of the series. The Blinkfestival and MFNF will maintain their autonomy but will host two of the major events on the series.
IBU President Olle Dahlin said:
“We are delighted to partner with Blinkfestival and MFNF and explore how we can strengthen the popularity of summer biathlon. This strategy to create a summer biathlon series is perfectly aligned with IBU’s strategic plan, Target 26, and the objectives to raise the level of performance in summer biathlon, extend the reach of the sport and maximise the promotion of biathlon. We believe the best way to achieve this is to cooperate with well-established and successful partners as we aim to have the highest quality events while encouraging as many nations as possible to participate.”
Arne Idland, Chief of Sport at Blinkfestival, said:
“BLINK was established in 2006 and has since then become the largest combined biathlon and cross-country roller ski event in the world taking place overfour adventurous days from the spectacular scenery of Lysebotn to the beauty of Sandnes City. We are very proud to move one step ahead through the new partnership with IBU and MFNF, to enhance the focus on the international biathlon sport throughout the year”.
Martin Fourcade said:
“In creating the Martin Fourcade Nordic Festival, my wish was to provide a disruptive biathlon experience for athletes and fans and to promote biathlon outside its natural environment: in the summer and in the middle of the city. Inspired by all the IBU competitions I was lucky to compete in during my 12 year career but also by the Blinkfestival which always was the highlight of my summer. Today, I am really excited to go further with IBU and Blinkfestival and to promote our beautiful sport together.”