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Heikki Laitinen is one of the athletes of the Finnish team at the opening of the IBU Cup. Photo: Esa Kinnunen


Here are the Finnish athletes of the IBU Cup - "The stars of the future are definitely on the line", says the coach

The Finnish team receives more athletes than usual for the home games.

The head coach of the Finnish IBU-cup team, Ilkka Jarva, says that in the opening competition of the season in Kontiolahti, you will see athletes tuned in two ways.

Those who have toured the IBU Cup before have the goal of succeeding and getting a place on the World Cup tour. Daria Virolainen even has the overall victory of the IBU Cup from the 2016-17 season in her pocket.

"Then there are guys for whom getting to the IBU Cup and in front of the home crowd is important. Among other things, we get Jimi Klemettinen as a youth athlete to try the international pace," says Jarva.

Big names of the future on the line  

Jarva is happy about the opportunity to increase the size of the team brought by the home games. Finland is represented by a team of seven women and six men.

For the public, the IBU Cup is an opportunity to see what the most famous biathlon athletes of the future were like as young athletes.

"Other, big countries have the same thing. The stars of the future are definitely on that line."

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INFO: Finnish athletes in the IBU Cup in Kontiolahti 30.11.-3.12.2023


Frida Achré

Vörå IFN 20-year-old Frida Achrén has competed at the national level so far. Achrén, who is part of the youth national team, graduated from high school last spring. In her free time, Achrén keeps in touch with her friends, takes it easy and, for example, knits or watches television series.

Emilia Irvankoski

21-year-old Irvankoski, who represents the Ounasvaara Ski Club, started his biathlon career at the age of 12. He has been touring international competitions for a few years. The best ranking in the IBU Cup is from last winter in Sweden's Idre Fjäll, where she was in the chase in 31st place. Irvankoski, who enjoys tennis and crafts, is studying to become a classroom teacher at the University of Eastern Finland under the conditions of sports.

Sofia Joronen

25-year-old Joronen of the Seinäjoki Ski Association started biathlon at the age of 10. He has competed in the European Championships and Youth World Championships, the IBU Cup and the Universiade. In the IBU Cup, the best result is the 36th place in the super sprint. In the 2023 Universiade, the best ranking was 12th place in the sprint. Joronen studies mathematics in the science track at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu. Hobbies include knitting and baking.

Heidi Kuuttinen

25-year-old Kuuttinen of Närpes Kraft Skidföreningen started biathlon ten years ago. Kuuttinen, who has also competed in running, skiing and orienteering, has represented Finland in biathlon at the World Cup, IBU Cup, European Championship, Junior European Championship and World Championship, and the IBU Junior Cup. In the IBU Cup, the best ranking in individual trips is the 28th place and the 11th place in the Junior World Championships. Kuuttinen studies sports science at the University of Östersund, Sweden. In her spare time, she likes to play the accordion, do Rubik's cube and sudoku, knit, draw, bake and cook and do things with her own hands that take her mind off sports and studies.

Venla Lehtonen

The highlight of 28-year-old Lehtonen's biathlon career so far has been the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang 2018. In the same season, he also competed in the World Cup for the first time. The best positions in the World Cup are the 36th place in the Pokljuka normal distance (season 2018/19) and the 40th place in the 2022-23 Kontiolahti World Cup sprint race. This season, the aim is to improve these rankings. Lehtonen, who enjoys yoga, baking and making pearl jewelry regularly and irregularly, studies education and adult education at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu.

Seela Peuralahti

The 22-year-old Peuralahti of the Oulu Ski Club has represented Finland in two youth World Championships. Peuralahti, who studies business sciences at the University of Oulu and directs swimming schools for special children, is passionate about style and getting dressed.

Daria Virolainen

The 34-year-old Estonian from Tuusula's Voima-Veikkoin has previously competed for the Russian national team in the years 2010-2018 in the IBU Cup and the World Cup. His best results are the overall victory of the IBU Cup in the season 2016/17, two second places in the World Cup in 2014 and 2015, and the victory in the European Championships in 2017. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his three children and bake.


Arttu Heikkinen

19-year-old Heikkinen of the Puijo Ski Club has been practicing biathlon for ten years. The highlights of Heikkinen's career are the Junior World Championship gold in the standard distance in 2022, the Junior World Championship bronze in the pursuit in 2022, the Junior World Championship bronze in the pursuit in 2023 and the sixth place in the IBU Cup in the normal distance in Idre Fjälli 2022. Heikkinen, who is studying at the sports high school of Kuopio's Klassillisen High School, will graduate next spring.

Ville-Valtteri Karvinen

The 21-year-old Karvinen from Kontiolahti Urheilijode has toured the IBU Cup in the previous two winters. The main races this season are also the youth value races. In the 2022-23 season, Karvinen was in 13th place in the normal route of the European Youth Championships. The best ranking in the IBU Cup is 21st place in the debut competition. Sports other than biathlon are part of Karvinen's free time. These include, for example, golf, tennis and frisbee golf.

Jimi Klemettinen

The 18-year-old Klemettinen of Soisalo Biathlon Skiers has been practicing biathlon for a few years under the coaching of Niko Aapajärvi. The Kontiolahti competition is the first IBU Cup competition for Klemettinen, who lives in Vuokatti. Klemettinen's previous international competitions are the World Youth Championship and the European Youth Olympic Festival. The best ranking in the international competitions has been the 7th place in the winter 2023 speed competition in the EYOF competitions.

Heikki Laitinen

The best successes of the 29-year-old Laitinen of the Kontiolahti Athletes are the 54th place in the sprint competition of the Beijing Olympics 2022 and the third place of the IBU Cup in Obertilliach, Austria in March 2021. Laitinen, who is interested in finance and investing, has recently started his final work for studying economics (University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu) doing.

Jonni Mukkala

22-year-old Mukkala of Soisalo Biathlon Skiers is part of the biathlon B national team for the second year. The best result of my career so far is the 8th place of the IBU Cup in Pokljuka's speed race last season. Mukkala has also represented Finland in the World Cup in Nove Mesto and Östersund competitions. Mukkala, who lives in Lehmo, Kontiolahti, is a professional athlete who studies forestry at Karelia AMK in Joensuu during her sports holiday.

Joni Mustonen

The 29-year-old Mustose from Kontiolahti Urheilijde has one top 10 ranking from the IBU Cup and a few World Cup competitions. Mustonen, who enjoys hunting, does part-time work at Kontiolahti Outdoor in addition to sports.

IBU-cup Kontiolahti 30.11.-3.12.2023

Competition programme:

Thu 30.11.2023:
11.45 Normal competition, women
15.30 Normal competition, men

Sat 2.12.2023

12.00 Speed competition, women
15.30 Quick race, men

Sun 3.12.2023

12.00 Mixed relay (2 x N + 2 x M)
15.00 Couple relay (N+M)

All competitions can be watched at Yle Areena, with Jari Haapala as commentator.