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The International Biathlon Union IBU clarified the World Cup arrangements - the Östersund Games will be moved to Kontiolahti

Bulletin of the Kontiolahti Sportsmen's Association and the Finnish Biathlon Union September 26, 2020

According to the guidelines of the International Biathlon Union IBU, the World Cup season will open as planned in Kontiolahti on 28-29. November. In addition, the competitions planned for next week in Östersund, Sweden, will be moved to Kontiolahti. The possibility of public participation in the Kontiolahti event will be clarified later.

The International Biathlon Union IBU modified the November-December program of the World Cup season so that instead of a program covering four different countries and localities, the World Cup visits only two countries and two localities. These locations are Kontiolahti and Hochfilzen in Austria.

—The decision was difficult, and we thank the competition organizers for their understanding and cooperation behind this joint decision. The plan we agreed on means that we can organize four World Cup events but at the same time reduce the health and logistical risks caused by traveling between competition venues, says general secretary Niklas Carlsson in the IBU press release.

—Behind everything is the corona pandemic. The decision is to ensure the safety of the athletes and everyone else who participates in the World Cup events. With the arrangement made, travel and movement will be significantly reduced, says Kalle Lähdesmäki, chairman of the Finnish Biathlon Union.

Lähdesmäki thanks the International Biathlon Union for trusting Finland to grant the right to organize events. Thanks also go to the Finnish health, border and relevant authorities for the very good cooperation in making the plans, says Lähdesmäki.

—Discussions about the changes have taken place with the IBU and other event organizers in a constructive spirit, for which thanks to all parties. Despite the exceptional circumstances, we are going to build a sportingly interesting opening of the World Cup in Kontiolahti.

For the public, the solutiont later  

In its decision, the IBU instructed that event organizers align public access to events according to national and regional recommendations.

Kontiolahti event manager Sami Leinonen says that the race organizer actively and openly cooperates with the Eastern Finland Regional Administration Office and other stakeholders.

—Now we have the IBU's decision on the most important, i.e. competition program. We are in constant discussion with the authorities about audience arrangements, says Leinonen.

In his assessments, Leinonen refers to the current official guidelines.

—If the guidelines remain as they are now, we will be able to build guidelines-compliant, audience-driven blocks and services. In this case, we would have the conditions to include a limited amount of audience.

Jarrangementsalready underway   

Leinonen says that preliminary preparations related to the IBU's decision have been made in good cooperation with the authorities.

─The decision made was one of the scenarios we have been preparing for since August. There is a lot of work to be done in the next two months, but now we can start putting the plans into practice quickly.

Photo: Johannes Thingnes Bø and crystal balls in Kontiolahti in March. Photographer: Heidi Lehikoinen.

More information:   

International Biathlon Union bulletin

Sami Leinonen, Director of Biathlon World Cup opening, Kontiolahti Urheilijat, 050-557 8003

Kalle Lähdesmäki, chairman, Finnish Biathlon Union, 0500-363 126

INFO:The program of the Biathlon World Cup season opening in Kontiolahti


Men's normal journey

Women's normal race   

Sunday 29.11.

Men's Sprint   

Women's fast track

Thursday 3.12.

Men's fast track

Women's Sprint   

Saturday 5 December

Men's Pursuit   

Women's Relay    

Sunday 6.12.

Men's Relay   

Chasing Women