More than 160,000 fans expected for BMW IBU World Championships Biathlon

The BMW IBU World Championships Biathlon 2023 is set to get underway next week in Oberhof (GER) on 8 February with more than 160,000 fans expected to attend the flagship event.

A total of 260 of the world’s best athletes from 36 countries will compete across nine competition days (8-19 February 2023) in one of biathlon’s global capitals. The World Championships will also see the hosting of the first-ever IBU Hall of Fame Awards dinner on 13 February with biathlon legends Andrea Henkel, Kati Wilhelm, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Sven Fischer to be inducted for their extraordinary careers.

IBU President Olle Dahlin said:

“With less than a week to go until the IBU World Championships gets underway the sense of excitement and anticipation can be felt across the biathlon family. We have no doubt it will be a fantastic Championships full of thrilling biathlon and unforgettable athlete performances. Oberhof has made significant investment in creating a state-of-the-art and sustainable venue which will provide the perfect conditions for athletes to compete at their very best and support the development of winter sport in the region for years to come. With more than 160,000 fans expected to fill this wonderful arena during the Championships we can be assured of an incredible atmosphere to celebrate our sport.” 

The World Championships venue – ARENA am Rennsteig – has been transformed in recent years into one of the world’s most modern biathlon venues with sustainability at the core of its development. The venue has been modernised to minimise energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Heating of the buildings comes 100% from waste heat generated on site and the energy supply for the World Championships will be covered by certified green energy from renewable hydropower. Efficient and resource-saving snow management will be implemented based on state-of-the-art methods. Food will be provided by local suppliers and local reforestation will be supported by tree sponsorships. The IBU will also host a Sustainability Seminar for its stakeholders on 9 February to inform the biathlon community about its long-term sustainability mission with a focus on energy efficiency and de-carbonization.

For the first time, there will be no World Cup points on offer at the World Championships with the event not included in the World Cup Discipline Scores or Total Score. This rule change reinforces the World Championship’s position as the sport’s premier, standalone event.

The World Championships will be broadcast live by 21 broadcasters reaching a total average audience of 10 million viewers every day. All competitions will also be streamed live on and fans will be able to follow the action live on the IBU App.

In time for the World Championships, the IBU has also launched an official biathlon prediction game, the Predictor Challenge Oberhof 2023, in which fans can win fantastic prices by predicting the podium of each Championship competition and answering two bonus questions.

Moreover, the IBU has joined forces with its Climate Partner Viessmann to announce a new climate challenge that is open to all biathlon clubs. Through the VIESSMANN Climate Club Trophy, the IBU is looking for the most creative initiatives to be sustainable as a biathlon club. The club with the best ideas will win a Viessmann climate solution like photovoltaics, heat pumps or solar thermal that will help it be even more sustainable in the long term. The value of the voucher will be calculated based on the number of hits at the shooting range by the athletes in Oberhof.

Programme of the BMW IBU World Championships Biathlon 2023:

08 February, Wednesday

14:45 Mixed Relay (W+M)

10 February, Friday

14:30 Women 7.5km Sprint

11 February, Saturday

14:30 Men 10km Sprint

12 February, Sunday

13:25 Women 10km Pursuit

15:30 Men 12.5km Pursuit

14 February, Tuesday

14:30 Men 20km Individual

15 February, Wednesday

14:30 Women 15km Individual

16 February, Thursday

15:10 Single Mixed Relay (W+M)

18 February, Saturday

11:45 Men 4x7.5km Relay

15:00 Women 4x6km Relay

19 February, Sunday

12:30 Men 15km Mass Start

15:15 Women 12.5km Mass Start

Photo: IBU/Manzoni

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