About biathlon

Biathlon translates into something like double competition. It is a combination of the cross-country and shooting disciplines.



Petroglyphs found in Norway 5000 years ago prove that humans used skis to pursue game on snow.

The first recorded biathlon event was organized near the border between Sweden and Norway by border guards in 1767 as a competition.

As training for defence purposes, known as "military patrol", biathlon grew in popularity among military units.

This military patrol was contested as a demonstrational competition at the Olympic Games (1924, 1928, 1936 and 1948).

In 1954 the IOC acknowledged biathlon as an independent sport and in 1956 the first rules for biathlon competitions were determined and the UIPM (Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne) became the new union.

The first event was the men's 20 km individual in 1960 at the Olympic Games in Squaw Valley (USA).

In 1993, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) was founded, which has organised the most important competitions up to now. Hence, biathlon is the only ski sport not to be regulated by the Federation Internationale de Ski (Fis).


The different disciplines:



The individual race is the oldest biathlon discipline.

Competitors' starts are staggered, normally by 30 seconds. They run a total of five rounds. After each of the first four rounds there is a shooting event. In the individual race the biathlete shoots four times at any shooting lane, in the sequence of prone, standing, prone, standing. For each missed target a fixed penalty time, usually one minute, is added to the skiing time of the biathlete.


Just as in the individual race, there is a staggered start of 30 seconds. The sprint includes three laps with two bouts of shooting, once prone and once standing. For each miss, a penalty loop of 150 meters must be skied before the race can be continued. The result of the sprint competition is often very important, because the starting distances of the pursuit race is determined by the sprint result.



Pursuit is a direct competition, where the contestant crossing the finish line first is the winner. This competition is even more exciting, because the athletes have a direct duel at the shooting lane.

Just as in the individual race, the pursuit includes five rounds and four shooting events. There are four shooting bouts in the sequence two prone, two standing. Each miss means a penalty loop of 150 m.

Pursuits are held with only the 60 top ranking biathletes after the preceding sprint race. The winner of the sprint starts the pursuit first and the time for athletes starts at this point.

The other athletes start separated by their time differences from a previous sprint race.


Mass start:

The rules of the mass start race are identical to the pursuit race with five rounds and four bouts of shooting in the sequence two prone, two standing. World Cup Mass starts are held with only the 30 top ranking athletes on the start line. The athletes who have already won medals before the mass start competition takes place, have the right to start at the Olympic Games. A further 15 starting positions are based on the world cup standings. The remaining starting positions are given to the most successful athletes of the respective Olympic Games or the World Cup who have not yet won any medals.

The athletes start in three rows of ten competitors respectively.

Team disciplines:



Similar to track and field sports, also biathlon includes relay competitions. The relay teams consist of four biathletes of one nation and of the same gender with three laps and one prone and one standing shoot respectively with one athlete starting after the other. Once one team member finished his laps, there is a 30 m long changing range where he hands over to the next competitor of his team.

Mixed Relay:

The mixed relay is similar to the ordinary relay but for the composition of the teams, each of which consists of two women and two men.


Normal 0 21 false false false DE X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Biathlon bedeutet soviel wie Zweifach- Kampf, es ist eine Kombinationssportart aus den Disziplinen Skilanglauf und Schießen.

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