On Wednesday biathletes will compete in the longest individual race – the 20 km. Norway still awaits its first individual title in the men’s competition. In the first two events, French and Swedes have been better. The 20 km race is the strongest event of Slovene Jakov Fak who was fourth last year in Anterselva.
Johannes Thingnes Boe, the leading biathlete in the World Cup standing, still has not justified the expectations before the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 in Pokljuka. He won gold in the mixed relay, and bronze in the pursuit, but this is less than expected, looking at his results between November and January.
However, if we look at the long list of Boe’s wins, he is the weakest in the 20 km event. But then again, Boe won the last year’s race here in Pokljuka, already on the renovated tracks, and at the World Championships in Anterselva he took the silver. He was also second this season in Kontiolahti, so he is among the medal candidates.
The leading biathlete in the event is young Sturla Holm Laegreid who won in Kontiolahti, and was second after the New Year in Anterselva. Russian Alexander Loginov, first in Anterselva, and German Erik Lesser, third in Finland, have proved the speciality of the 20 km event.
Looking the results of this season, and also Pokljuka’s results, the main favourites are clear. German, French and Swedish athletes will represent the biggest challenge for others, however, there are many biathletes who bet on the clean shooting, as every missed shot means a penalty of one minute added to the total time.
Italian Lukas Hofer, German Arnd Peiffer, Austrian Simon Eder, who is a good shooter, and local Jakov Fak are in the wider circle of favourites. Many others will also hope to surprise everyone, and take the medal.
Besides Fak, three other Slovenes (Miha Dovžan, Rok Tršan and Alex Cisar) will compete.
The last year’s champion Martin Fourcade will watch the competition from the stands. During the second week of Championships, the legendary French came to Rudno polje where he won three times. In the season 2016/17, he won the sprint and the pursuit, and in the season 2018/2019, he was the best in the 20 km event. At the start line, the bronze medallist from Anterselva, retired Austrian Dominik Landertinger, will also be missing.
Start at 2:30 PM.
20 km Individual
28 November 2020
Sturla Holm Laegreid
Johannes Thingnes Boe
22 January 2021
Sturla Holm Lægreid
Quentin Fillon Maillet
World Championships 2020
Johannes Thingnes Boe