Experts' corner: Arnd Peiffer

Arnd Peiffer gives his final stamp on the BMW IBU World Championships 2024 in Nove Mesto na Morave. He explains why the success in the first week didn't bring just positives for Julia Simon and why failing to win a medal might spur Johannes Dale-Skjevdal to be extra motivated in the final Trimester. He also names his favorites for the Total Score win.

The BMW IBU World Championships 2024 in Nove Mesto offered two weeks of world-class biathlon in an incredible atmosphere. But, I believe they have also changed the dynamics in the battle for the Total Score title, especially on the women’s side. Julia Simon, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, Lisa Vittozzi, and Lou Jeanmonnot dominated women’s competitions, winning 11 individual medals. Meanwhile, Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold, the leading athlete after the first two Trimesters, hit a rough patch of form. Her standing shooting performance hardly increased her self-confidence before the World Cup entered the final Trimester.

Johannes Dale-Skjevdal, who increasingly looked like someone who could challenge Johannes Thingnes Boe in Trimester 3, expected a lot from the World Championships. One missed shot too many in the Sprint and in the Pursuit cost him a medal; his performance in the Individual was disappointing. As the leading athlete in the Mass Start Score, he got sick just before the race that suited him the best. But knowing Johannes, he will throw everything into the final Trimester. Disappointments from Nove Mesto could make him even stronger in the last three weeks.

Success at the World Championships - especially if an athlete is from a big sporting nation - also brings increased publicity and media demands. As I observed the Mixed zone in the first week of Nove Mesto, I saw that Julia Simon spent hours with the journalists. Standing and answering the questions after the competition affects energy levels and can disrupt preparations for the final semester. This might give an edge to Braisaz-Bouchet. But we will see how strongly Julia rebounds from that.

Header iconExperts' corner: Arnd Peiffer - Oslo-Holmenkollen

A quick look towards the season’s finish line: Johannes Thingnes Boe is in superb form. And he loves competing and winning at home. The elevation of tracks in Soldier Hollow will suit him very well, and he is a clear favourite for the Total Score win. As for the women, my favourite is Justine.

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