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

Following our post on Biathlons´ Sprint Event we today describe the main characteristics of another event linked to it, the Pursuit Event.

the Pursuit event the Biathlete’s starting order is determined accordingly to its Sprint’s event classification that was held previously. The first 60 biathletes classified in the sprint event are eligible to run in the Pursuit event and they depart with a time gap from each other that result from their Sprint event finishing time. Normally, the difference between the first and last starter is around 2 1/2 and 3 minutes. So this is a chase race in which biathletes run all together and the first one to cross the line wins.

Although some Biathletes are in advantage to others because of their sprint event previous classification, it is common to see several changes in the in between and final classification order since the Pursuit only has 2.5 Km more than the sprint event (12.5 Km for men and 10 Km for women) but it requires 4 shooting range sessions to be dealt with thus placing emphasis in shooting accuracy and also in biathlete’s hunting spirit for the men/women ahead of them.

Shooting sessions appear within a 2.5 Km (men) or 2 Km (women) interval and the first two are handled in the prone position and the last two in the standing position (this more unstable position occurs at the later stage of the race and due to fatigue may change final results dramatically). Biathletes shoot several times together or within others approaching the shooting range which creates additional pressure and/or motivation while shooting. As in the Sprint event, each missing shot also forces a penalty loop of 150 metres to be completed after the shooting range.

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