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According to the study, the regional economic effects of the WC competitions held last time in Kontiolahti in 2015 were more than 20 million euros. Photo: Mai Mönkkönen


Finland applies to host the Biathlon World Cup in 2028-29

The Finnish Biathlon Union and the Kontiolahti Athletes are applying to Finland and Kontiolahti to host the World Biathlon Championships in 2028 and 2029.

The World Cup hosts for 2028 and 2029 will be decided at the International Biathlon Union IBU Congress in the fall of 2024. Finland will apply to host for either year.

"Hosting the World Championships strengthens biathlon's position and increases the interest and enjoyment of the sport in Finland. The prestigious competitions bring visibility to the sport at home and anchor Finland at the core of the international biathlon family," says the chairman of the Finnish Biathlon Union, business advisor Kalle Lähdesmäki.

Sustainable development at the center

Sustainable development and responsibility will be at the center of the starting preparation process for the bid for the World Championships, says executive director of the Finnish Biathlon Union Tapio Pukki.

“The International Biathlon Union IBU appreciates how the sport can be marketed through the Games and what kind of legacy the Games leave for the development of Biathlon in the applicant country. Kontiolahti is already known around the world for its significant work as a responsible race organizer. The best proof of this is the IBU Sustainability Award won by Kontiolahti in July, which was awarded for the first time. The significance of the selection is emphasized by the fact that it was made by an impartial selection committee," states Pukki.

Extensive cooperation in the background

In more than 30 years, Kontiolahti has organized World Cups, World Cup events, IBU Cup events and international prestigious competitions for young people. The events have been built with the cooperation of the Kontiolahti Athletes, Kontiolahti municipality, the city of Joensuu, the North Karelia regional association, several North Karelian communities and the Finnish Biathlon Union.

"The competition organization has been tested, for example, during the corona pandemic. Kontiolahti was one of the few places in the world entrusted with the organization of the Games. Extensive cooperation will also be emphasized in the future application process, and hosting the World Cup is a motivating development step for us as competition organizers," says the chairman of the Kontiolahti Athletes' Association Kimmo Turunen.

In the coming years, the opening competition of the IBU Cup will be held in Kontiolahti in November-December 2023, the opening competition of the World Cup in December 2024 and the final competition of the World Cup in March 2026.

Info: Biathlon World Championships

  • Held annually in February-March, except for the years of the Winter Olympics.
  • Held for the first time in Saalfelden, Austria in 1958.
  • First time in Finland in Hämeenlinna in 1962.
  • Held in Kontiolahti in 1999 and 2015. In 1990, the men's relay world championship was decided in Kontiolahti.