Category Archives: Wintersports

Biathlon – World Cup 3 Men’s Sprint: Jakov Fak Again!

The third event of men’s Sprint World Cup finished a few seconds ago. Home Biathlete, Slovenian Jakov Fak won with 24:41:7 (no shots missed) and will start next Saturday’s Pursuit with an advantage of just 1 second over Emil Egle Svendsen  (2nd in the sprint although missing 1 shot out of 10).

Biathlon – Men Pursuit World Cup 2: Slovenian Jakov Fak Rules

The results did not stay too far our predictions. Fak is on fire in this season’s commence and this win allowed him moving from 13th to 5th overall in the World Cup standings.

Biathlon – World Cup 3 Schedule and Previews (Pokljuka, Slovenia)

Martin Fourcade despite clearing 10 out of 10 finished 3rd only 6 seconds behind Fak’s time which is nonetheless another consistent performance from the Frenchman. This allowed him to keep his yellow bib and almost double his World Cup lead (89 points advantage when he had 49 before this event) now to Russian Evgeny Ustyugov that took 2nd place overall (he was 7th in the sprint  with no shots missed and will start the pursuit 37 seconds behind Fak ) at the cost of Andreas Birnbacher from Germany (40th place in today’s sprint granting him only 1 point).

A very challenging Pursuit event in perspective for next Saturday with the 3 first starters within 6 seconds!

World Cup 3 continues tomorrow with women’s 7.5 Km sprint. Fak’s result in men will certainly be a motivation for also Slovenian Teja Gregorin.

Biathlon – World Cup 3 Schedule and Previews (Pokljuka, Slovenia)

Biathlon’s World Cup 3 starts today at Pokljuka, Slovenia, with the men’s 10K sprint. The current World Cup leader Martin Fourcade will be one of the favourites but local man – Jakov Fak – will certainly do his best to win in his own grounds. Fak was the winner of the last World Cup race (Pursuit, Hochfilzen).

Biathlon – Men Pursuit World Cup 2: Slovenian Jakov Fak Rules

We leave you the full schedule (Times are CET) for this event that you may follow live either on Eurosport International or at Biathlon’s Regulatory Body (IBU) website on:

You can check the entry list and the results, when available, by clicking on the last column links.

13.12. 14:20 10 km Sprint Men Start List / Results
14.12. 14:20 7.5 km Sprint Women Start List / Results
15.12. 12:45 12.5 km Pursuit Men Start List / Results
15.12. 15:00 10 km Pursuit Women Start List / Results
16.12. 13:00 15 km Mass Start Men Start List / Results
16.12. 15:00 12.5 km Mass Start Women Start List / Results

In the women sprint we believe the battle for 1st place will be pretty much between current World Cup leader – Norwegian Tora Berger – and Belarus lady Darya Domracheva (current runner-up in the overall classification). Nonetheless, Slovenian Teja Gregorin (currently 9th overall) will certainly put up a fight to do her best in front of their home crowd and should not be disregarded from top places.

Biathlon – Men Pursuit World Cup 2: Slovenian Jakov Fak Rules

Round 2 of men’s Pursuit just finished a few minutes ago in Hockfilzen.

Slovenian Jakov Fak won after starting the pursuit in 3rd place and although missing 2 shots.

Second place went to Dmitry Malyshko that made a great comeback after starting only in 11th.

Last podium spot was taken by Word Cup overall leader Martin Fourcade that kept his yellow bib with this result.

The women’s pursuit follows this afternoon at 14:00 CET.

Darya Domracheva will start first and world cup leader – Tora Berger – in 3rd place having to catch up time lost in yesterday’s sprint race.

Biathlon – World Cup 2 Hochfilzen, Austria: Men Sprint Summary Results

The second round of the men’s World Cup Sprint just finished a few moments ago in Hochfilzen, Austria.

But before the results, very recent and relevant news: German Michael Greis just announced he will put an immediate stop to his career. He took part of round 1, finishing the sprint in 6th and realized, as he said “he was no longer able to compete at the highest level…and I realised it was going to be my last race”.

Greis won three gold medals in the 20km individual, 15km mass start and 4×7.5km relay at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. He also has 3 World Championship titles and won the 2006/07 overall World Cup title.

German Andreas Birnbacher took the win in Hochfilzen with a time of 25:31:1 minutes of and no shots missed.

Second place went World Cup holder Martin Fourcade just 4 tenths of a second behind Birnbacher, and third to Slovenian Jakov Fak timing 25:44:8. With these results Fourcade kept the yellow bib of World Cup leader and even extended his lead.

The pursuit race will be held tomorrow at 12:45 CET.

Remember that the starting order of this event follows the sprint times.

You may want to remember our post on that:

Biathlon’s Pursuit Event – What is it and what matters most?

The women sprint will start in about 2 hours (13:30 CET). If you want you may follow it live on Eurosport International or either in the IBU live feed:

The women pursuit will be held also tomorrow (15:00 CET).

Alpine Skiing – ‘The Super Combined’

The Super Combined combined event consists of one downhill (or Super-G) and one slalom run. The times are added together and the fastest total time determines the winner. The combined downhill and the combined slalom are contested independently of the regular downhill and slalom events, and the combined courses are shorter than the regular versions. Usually the entire combined event is held on a single day at the same venue.

Alpine Skiing – ‘The Downhill’

Alpine Skiing – ‘The Amazing Super-G Herminator’

Alpine Skiing – ‘The Slalom’

A competitor will not be permitted to start in any FIS International Ski competition who was disqualified, (DSQ) did not start (DNS) or did not finish (DNF) in the first run. However, the Super Combined is exempt from this rule. A skier who was DSQ, DNS or DNF in the slalom run can start the speed event. If the speed event precedes the slalom run the exemption does not apply.

The Arlberg-Kandahar, also known as AK, a combined slalom and downhill event, is now referred to as the first legitimate Alpine event – the race that planted the seed for Alpine’s inclusion in the Olympic programme.

Alpine skiing became part of the Olympic programme at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games with a men’s and ladies combined event.

The first women Super Combined of the 2012/2013 season will take place at St. Moritz (Switzerland), next Friday, December 7th, while the first men’s Super-Combined will be held only next year (Wengen, Switzerland, January 13th).

Alpine Skiing – ‘The Slalom’

The slalom features the shortest course and the quickest turns. As in the giant slalom, each skier makes two runs down two different courses on the same slope. Both runs take place on the same day. The times are added and the fastest total time determines the winner.

Slalom competitions must be raced on a course surface that is as hard as possible.The course should normally be approximately 40 m wide, if two runs are set on the same slope terrain.

The ideal slalom course, taking into consideration the drop and the gradient specified above, must include a series of turns designed to allow the competitors to combine speed with neat execution and precision of turns.

The Slalom should permit the rapid completion of all turns. The course should not require acrobatics incompatible with normal ski technique. It should be a technically clever composition of figures suited to the terrain, linked by single and multiple gates, allowing a fluent run, but testing the widest variety of ski technique, including changes of direction with very different angles.

A slalom gate consists of two poles or where there is no outside pole the gate will consist of a turning pole. Consecutive gates (minimum width of 4 m and a maximum of 6 m) must alternate in blue and red. The distance between gates within combinations (hairpin, vertical or delayed gates) must not be less than 0.75 m. The distance from turning pole to turning pole of successive gates must not be less than 6.75 m and not more than 13 m. Gates should never be set only down the fall-line, but so that some full turns are required.

The finish line is marked by two posts or vertical banners which may be connected by a horizontal banner. In Downhill and Super-G races, the finish must be no less than 15 metres wide and in Slalom (and in Giant Slalom also) no less than 10 metres wide

In the slalom events, poles are straight and often have plastic guards covering the knuckles to help skiers knock the slalom poles out of their path.

While a helmet is compulsory for downhill and super-G and it is not the case for the slalom. However, it is often worn in slalom as well in giant slalom.

Swedish André Myhrer is the current leader of the Slalom World Cup since we won the only race held till now.

In women, Maria Höfl-Riesch of Germany leads the 2012/2013 slalom World Cup with 150 points after 2 rounds (1 win and a 4th place).

The forthcoming slalom races will take place next Saturday, December 8th, at Val d’Isère, France (Men) and next December 19th in Åre, Sweden (Women).

Biathlon – World Cup 1 Ostersund: Summary Results

The first round of Biathlon’s World Cup ended last December 2nd in Ostersund, Sweden, with two biathletes clearly outstanding from the rest of the pack.

In women, Norwegian Tora Berger won all the 3 events (Individual, Sprint and Pursuit) thus recording a total of 180 points in World Cup overall classification (60 points per victory), more 36 than Darya Domracheva from Belarus.

In men, French Biathlete Martin Fourcade (winner of last year’s World Cup global classification, won both the individual and pursuit event, although starting this last just in the 10th position (his classification in the sprint event). He now leads the World Cup standing with a total of 151 points (20 more than Norwegian Emil Egle Svendsen).

Biathlon’s Pursuit Event – What is it and what matters most?

The second World Cup stage will take place between next December 7th and 9th at Hochfilzen, Austria. Here are the schedule of the events, that will be broadcasted live in Eurosport International.

Date Start time Distance Discipline category  Time
07.12. 11:30 10 km Sprint Men CET
07.12. 14:30 7.5 km Sprint Women CET
08.12. 12:45 12.5 km Pursuit Men CET
08.12. 15:00 10 km Pursuit Women CET
09.12. 11:15 4×7.5 km Relay Men CET
09.12. 14:30 4×6 km Relay Women CET

Biathlon – First Results From World Cup in Ostersund and Upcoming Events

The first two rounds of Biathlon’s first World Cup event were held last Wednesday and yesterday in Ostersund Sweden.

Both events were men’s and women’s Individual races. You may want to see our earlier post describing the main features of this type of event:

 Biathlon’s Individual Event – What is it and what matters most?

French biathlete Martin Fourcade, the winner of last year’s world cup overall, won the 20 Km individual just missing one of the 20 shots.

In women, Norwegian Tora Berger made it even better with an impressive record of 20/20, and had an easy win. Tora Berger is the Current World Champion of this event.

Tomorrow and Sunday, the Sprint and Pursuit events will took place, both for men and women as well. We also wrote to posts about these events:

Biathlon’s Sprint Event – What is it and what matters most?

Biathlon’s Pursuit Event – What is it and what matters most?

The schedule for the remaining Ostersund events is the following:

Saturday:  Sprint Men – 13:30 CET; Sprint Women – 16:30 CET

Sunday: Pursuit Men – 12:30 CET; Pursuit Women – 14:30 CET

Stay tuned with Eurosport International that will broadcast all these events live

Biathlon Relays – How it works in terms of shooting?

And now that the Biathlon season is about to begin – Next November 25th in Ostersund –  we bring you some of the features of Relays since the first event in Sweden will be precisely a Mixed relay.

Biathlon – In what it consists and what are its origins?

Before we start describing how relays work, may be it is now worthwhile for you to remember some of our earlier posts in which we have described several other biathlon events (Sprint, Pursuit, Individual and Mass Start).

Biathlon’s Sprint Event – What is it and what matters most?

Biathlon’s Pursuit Event – What is it and what matters most?

Biathlon’s Individual Event – What is it and what matters most?

Biathlon’s Mass Start Event – What is it and what matters most?

 There are three relay events : Men, Women and Mixed Relays. These events are a national teams’ competition.

In all of them the shooting rules are equal, but the course distance varies:

Men relay – 4 x 7.5 Km

Women Relay – 4 x 6.0 Km

Mixed Relay – 2 x 6.0 Km (2 women), which run first, + 2 x 7.5 Km (2 men)

Each of the 4 biathletes have to run a course like if it was a sprint, but in this case all national teams entering the competition start at the same time. The biathlete’s bibs have two numbers: A bigger one which is the National Team number and a smaller one that respects to the relay phase the Biathlete is in (Number 1, 2, means biathlete of Team number 1, running the second course of the relay). The first shooting session is taken in the range with the same number of the team, while the remaining 7 seven sessions are taken in lanes which number matches the team current position.

There are two shooting sessions for each Biathlete – the first in the prone position and the last in the standing one (at Km 2.5 and 5.0 for men and 2.0 and 4.0 for women) Differently from other biathlon events, spare rounds of ammunition are allowed. in fact, each biathlete has 8 bullets that he can use to handle the five targets.

The first five are already inside a magazine attached to the rifle and are fired without the need to reload the rifle. If one or more shots are missed the biathlete can reload the remaining 3 bullets, one by one, into the rifle and make another shooting attempt.

Of course that feeding new bullets into the rifle wastes precious time, but it is a better solution than going straight to a skiing penalty loop of 150 metres, thus penalizing a bit less Biathletes that are not sharp shooters. Nonetheless, if after the 8 bullets were used some targets were still missed, then penalty loops will have to be accomplished.

Once a Biathlete finishes his/her course he must touch (after the finish line) his/her teammate body for the relay handling to be considered as regular.

The fastest team, of course, wins!

You may also want to check out the profile of the best Biathlete ever!

Super Athletes – Ole Einar Bjoerndalen

Alpine Skiing – ‘The Giant Slalom’

The Giant Slalom is also known as the GS.  The GS is similar to the slalom, but with fewer, wider, and smoother turns since ski speed is higher in the GS. The course should test the skier’s ability to react and adapt to an ever-changing rhythm and radius, but allow the competitors smooth transition between the various sections of gates.

In Giant Slalom, as well as in the Downhill  and Super-G, skiers normally start at regular intervals of 60 seconds. However the minimum start interval is 30 seconds in the GS while in the Super-G and  Downhill is 40 seconds.

He have described the Super-G and the Downhill in previous posts that you can check below:

Alpine Skiing – ‘The Amazing Super-G’

Alpine Skiing – ‘The Downhill’

Unlike the Super-G and Downhill where only one run determines the winner, in the GS each skier makes two runs down two different courses on the same slope. Both runs take place on the same day, usually with the first run held in the morning and the second run in the afternoon. The times are added, and the fastest total time determines the winner.

Both in GS and Super-G gates must be alternately red and blue . However, while in the GS gates must be at least 4 m and at most 8 m wide and the distance between the nearest poles of two successive gates must not be less than 10 metres, in Super-G gates must be at least 6 m and at most 8 m wide for open gates and at least 8 m and at most 12 m for vertical gates. In the Super-G distance between the turning poles of two successive gates must be at least 25 m.

Differently from GS, in Downhill and in Super-G the course must be marked using:

– twigs stuck in the snow on the inside and/or outside of the racing line before and after the gate and/or;

– small pine needles or similar material spread on the course and/or;

– coloured dye used vertically from gate to gate as well as horizontally, across the course or the inside and/or outside of the racing line before and after the gate, notably on the approaches indicating changes in terrain and jumps.

While in downhill and Super-G the use of a helmet is mandatory, is GS that is not the case, but skiers often worn one as well as in slalom. Unlike the downhill and Super-G, in GS and in the slalom, poles are straight and often have plastic guards covering the knuckles to help skiers knock the slalom poles out of their path. GS skis are shorter than Super-G and downhill skis, and longer than slalom skis.

The GS became a World Championships event in 1950 (USA, Aspen, Colorado). The first Winter olympics event of GS was held in Norway (Oslo) in 1952. The GS has been run in every world championships and Olympics since. Alberto  of Italy is the only skier to have won twice (and consecutively, 1988, 1992) the gold in the Olympics. Curiously, the first GS course was established on Italy’s Dolomite mountains in 1935.