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Kontiolahti's famous Seinänousu leads the athletes to the shooting range. Photo: IBU/Manzoni.


Kontiolahti World Cup preparations continue as a public event

At the beginning of February, the Eastern Finland Regional Administration Office eased gathering restrictions in Eastern Finland. Based on this, the Biathlon World Cup will be held in Kontiolahti on the 3rd-6th. March is being prepared as a public event.

At the beginning of February, the Regional Administrative Agency of Eastern Finland eased the gathering restrictions it had previously set.

—Based on this information, we are preparing for the World Cup in Kontiolahti as a public event, says event director Sami Leinonen.

The policies of the Regional Administration Office are valid until February 20.

— We are monitoring the situation, and changes are still possible before March. However, we are hopeful that the lifting of the corona restrictions will proceed according to the current outlook.

Tickets on advance sale

Tickets are sold to the A-stand at the shooting range and the start/finish area, as well as the track stand, which provides access to, among other things, the climbing wall and the curve leading into the stadium. The VIP stand is at the start/finish area.

Although the gathering restrictions have been eased, the responsibility of the organizers and the public in building a safe event is emphasized.

—Safety intervals, good hygiene, staying at home if you have symptoms and other familiar corona guidelines must be kept in mind. As organizers, we follow the instructions of both the authorities and the International Biathlon Union IBU. Based on the experiences of the last couple of years, we have good plans for organizing a safe event.

Leinonen emphasizes that there is plenty of room for the audience to divide into several stands.

— We consciously reduce close contact between the public. There are no traditional ticket offices at the gates. All tickets are sold in advance online or at Lippupiste service points, says Jarno Lautamatti, who is in charge of ticket sales.

The long wait is over

The construction of the competition village at the Kontiolahti Biathlon Stadium is already underway. The teams arrive in Kontiolahti between February and March from the Beijing Olympics. From Kontiolahti, the World Cup tour continues to Otepää, Estonia.

—The success of the Finnish athletes this season has clearly inspired the bench athletes. For a couple of years, the Finns have had to compete without the support of the home crowd along the track. Now this long break will hopefully come to an end, says Leinonen.