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The program of the World Cup opening 2020-21 attracts the public

The opening program of the Biathlon World Cup season in November 2020 is in accordance with the organizer's wishes.

The International Biathlon Union IBU's plan for the 2020-21 season program is praised by Kontiolahti Urheilijat ry, the organizer of the Finnish competition and the opening event of the World Cup season. According to the program, the World Cup tour opens in Kontiolahti on the 28th-29th. November. During the two days, both normal distances and speed races will be raced.

─We believe the program will be of interest to the public not only because of the status of the World Cup tour but also because the program is built specifically around individual competitions, says the event manager Sami Leinonen.

Leinonen takes over as the director of the November event after Tomi-Pekka Riihivuori. Previously, Leinonen has been assistant manager at the World Cup event in Kontiolahti.

Some of the teams stay longer

The competitions will take place according to the plan on Saturday and Sunday. Competition guests arriving from abroad will come to North Karelia as early as Wednesday, when the program includes the first skiing exercises.

Leinonen estimates that organizing the opening event in Kontiolahti will change the way the teams travel from previous years.

─We expect that more teams will arrive to practice on the stadium tracks already in October-November than in previous years. This saves the teams the trouble of traveling before the season's first race start.

The opening gathers attention

The last time the World Cup was opened in Kontiolahti in 2007. Leinonen says that the opening of the season attracts attention and brings something new to the arrangements.

─ More media representatives are coming to the place than usual. In the coming season, the teams will meet for the first time in Kontiolahti, which is why, for example, the presentation photos of the athletes are done here, Leinonen opens the special tasks for the November event.

Regarding the arrangements for the November event, the branch managers will hold their first online meeting in May.

─ We already planned many things for the March event in such a way that the practices also serve the November event. Regarding the technical implementation, the starting points for the arrangements for the opening of the season are really good, Leinonen says.

Monitoring the development of the coronavirus

Leinonen emphasizes that the development of the coronavirus situation is decisive for the event.

─We are monitoring the development of the situation together with the International Biathlon Union and the Finnish Biathlon Union. Regarding the progression of the corona, the situation is open, but we will nevertheless start preparing for the fall event in full and will adapt to the upcoming instructions of the authorities.

More information:
Event manager Sami Leinonen, Kontiolahti Sportsmen's Association, 050-557 8003
Announcement of the International Biathlon Union IBU for the 2020-21 season.

Photo: BMW IBU World Cup Kontiolahti / Heidi Lehikoinen