Who’s On, Who’s Off National Team Rosters

The rosters are set as training begins, with few changes, but also a few surprises on the most successful teams.

Deep Norwegian Squads The oh-so-deep Norwegian A team could have been predicted weeks ago with a line-up no other team can match: the Boe Brothers, Sturla Holm Laegreid, Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen joined by Johannes Dale-Skjevdal and Endre Stroemsheim.

That exclusive club keeps Johan-Olav Botn and Vebjoern Soerum, both with World Cup podiums and IBU Cup Total Score winner Mats Oeverby in the IBU Cup training group. After health issues, Filip Fjeld Andersen with two World Cup podiums and Sivert Guttorm Bakken, with a World Cup win on his resume are both on the outside looking in.

Skogan Declines Team Nomination

On the women’s side, the line-up is familiar, headed by Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold who held the Yellow Bib for much of last season and Karoline Offigstad Knotten.

Marit Ishol Skogan, third in the Lenzerheide Pursuit provided a big surprise, declining a coveted team spot; deciding to continue training with her local team. “It is an incredibly difficult choice to make, but I have so much confidence in the system my team uses that I decided to stay there…It has nothing to do with the fact that I do not have confidence in the national team because it is a great opportunity.”

Star-filled French Elite Teams

The French team was among the last to reveal their teams. The Elite men’s group was pared to five: Quentin Fillon Maillet, Emilien Jacquelin, Eric Perrot. Fabien Claude. and Oscar Lombardot. Antonin Guigonnat, after two IBU Cup and winning the IBU OECH Sprint title last winter dropped to the B Team along with Emilien Claude.

The powerhouse women’s elite team as expected includes Lou Jeanmonnot, Justine Braisaz Bouchet, and Julia Simon, 2nd, 4th and 5th in the World Cup Total Score, Sophie Chauveau and Canmore Mass Start winner Gilonne Guigonnat. Jeanne Richard and IBU Cup Total Score winner Oceane Michelon will spend their first summer with the Elite Team, while Chloe Chevalier went down to the B team.

German Squads Set

Seven women and eight men comprise the German World Cup team for the coming season with a couple of new faces. Franziska Preuss returns after a shortened season along with rising stars Selina Grotian and Janina Hettich-Walz. Two-time 2023 IBU JWCH Gold medalist Johanna Puff will train with the top group after a season mostly in the IBU Cup. 20-year-old Julia Kink, on Germany’s second place Women’s Relay at Soldier Hollow and 18-year-old IBU Junior Individual World Champion Julia Tannheimer will train with the 1B (IBU Cup) team.

On the men’s side, sharpshooter Justus Strelow and Philipp Nawrath who wore the Yellow Bib for part of last season lead the men’s squad. IBU Cup regular Simon Kaiser jumped up to the World Cup group.


Deedra Irwin and Campbell Wright top the list of eight men and four women on the US Biathlon team. Irwin ended last season with the second top 10 result of her career, while Wright led the US men with his first ever Flower Ceremony in the Soldier Hollow Sprint.

Stina Nilsson Leaves Swedish Team

The Swedish team lost some depth when Stina Nilsson after four years and just a single World Cup podium, moved back to cross-country, this time in classic endurance events. Nilsson, despite her ski speed, struggled on the shooting range, spending most of last season in the IBU Cup circuit.

With Nilson’s departure, and Mona Brorsson and Peppe Femling retiring, Sweden’s 14-person A team filled the gaps with fresh faces. The team includes all the established stars including the Oeberg sisters and Sebastian Samuelsson. The women’s squad added two under-25s from the IBU Cup: Anna-Karin Heijdenberg, 15th in the Canmore Sprint and Ella Halvarsson.

Emil Nykvist joined the men’s team from the IBU squad, after several World Cup starts last season.


Although the coaching staff changed dramatically in Czechia, all the veterans returned to the 15-person National Team, headed by Marketa Davidova and Michal Krcmar. Several top juniors and IBU Cup athletes were added as the team looks towards the post-Milan/Cortina era.

Dzhima and Pidruchnyi Lead Ukraine

Ukraine starts the training season with large training groups of 13 women and 11 men. Yulia Dzhima remains at the top of the women’s squad; Darya Blashko, recovering from health problems is not on the roster.

2019 Pursuit World Champion Dmytro Pidruchnyi leads the men’s squad but will train with former Men’s Coach Juraj Sanitra.


Like the Czech team, there was little change in Austria. Anna Gandler is the only athlete listed as National Team, with five additional women including Lisa Theresa Hauser in the A group. 41-year-old Simon Eder leads the A group men. Two-time IBU Junior Cup Total Score winner Anna Andexer and IBU JWCH Mixed Relay Bronze medalist Fabian Muehlbauer were both promoted to the A group.

Teams set; training underway; new season on the horizon.

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni, Per Danielsson, Archive

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