This weekend, the Olympic biathlon season begins in Sweden with the World Cup stage



Illustrative photo.

Illustrative photo.

Photo – LETA / Ieva Lūka

Gints Narogs, “Latvijas Avīze”, JSC “Latvijas Mediji”

This weekend, the Olympic biathlon season begins in Sweden with the World Cup stage. In the first stage, Latvia will be represented by six Latvian athletes.


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Baiba Bendika, Sanita Buliņa and Annija Sabule will start in the women’s competition, Edgars Mise, Aleksandrs Patrijuks and Roberts Slotiņš will take part in the men’s competition. Andrejs Rastorgujevs is currently disqualified for non-compliance with anti-doping rules (Aluksne continues to fight for the abolition of the penalty). On Saturday for women 15 km, for men 20 km individual distances, a day later 7.5 km and 10 km sprint, respectively.

“Since I’m not there yet in Estesund, I don’t believe that the season will start in a few days. There is a bit of a “silence before the storm” feeling, ”says Bendika, the leader of the Latvian team. “The preparation process has gone very well, physically we have managed to take a step forward, including shooting, after many changes in the spring, more and more stability and control has appeared, so there is confidence before the upcoming starts.

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The season should be allowed to run, but the physical condition and feelings are very good, and I hope that the season will start with high results and stable shooting. The first starts of the season are always intriguing, as it is a challenge to determine your condition compared to other athletes, ”Bendika is full of determination before the first big start of the season.

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The IBU Cup competition will start today in Sweden, but on a different track, Idre. Latvia will be represented in the IBU Cup by Sandra Buliņa, Inese Golubeva, Līva Šahno, Renārs Birkentāls and Rūdis Balodis.

“Currently, the line-up is determined for the first two stages of the World Cup, but after that it will be possible to draw conclusions about the athletes’ performance, prepare for the next stages, including fighting for quotas for the main event of the season – the Olympic Games. Thanks to the achievements of last season, including the 23rd place in the National Rankings, Latvia has three starting places in the women’s group in the PK stage. Biathletes have the opportunity to meet the criteria for the fourth women’s quota in the World Cup during the IBU Cup, allowing to form a women’s relay team, ”Gundars Upenieks, Vice President of the Latvian Biathlon Federation, outlines the next goals.

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