At the last media meeting before the start of the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2019 in Pokljuka (February 9 -21), the organizers revealed that 337 competitors from 38 countries have registered for the competition.
The final activities are being carried out on Rudno polje, so that the biathlon elite will feel well at the second IBU World Championships Biathlon on Slovenian soil. The technical infrastructure and support have been also completely renewed for this opportunity.
“The venue is in the final phase of preparations. By evening, we want to do more or less all the important work. From tomorrow on we are only going to take care of details,” Secretary General Tim Farčnik described the activities in Pokljuka.
All other numbers are also known. The organizing committee will include 400 people; along with other staff members, there are 530 accredited people. There will also be 380 journalists and their colleagues to cover the transmission and provide the information for the public.
The organizers still want that at least a minimum number of spectators could see the races at Pokljuka. The President of the Organizing Committee Jelko Kacin, followed the request of the competitors to have the support of at least a few fans, and announced that medical staff could come to cheer on biathletes. The Organizing Committee sees the idea of health workers at the scene also as a thank you gesture for fighting Covid-19.
“We hope that the future loosening of the measures to curb the spread of the epidemic in the country, will allow this,” Farčnik added.
Peter Zupan, the President of the sports club ŠD Pokljuka, has been a regular feature of all biathlon events at Pokljuka since its premiere in the season 1992/93. “I am extremely pleased that we host already the second world championships here. The first one in 2001 was completely different. However, the second one is also special in some way considering we organize it under changed conditions. In the last two years, we have made great progress in arranging the venue. We have eliminated those issues that occurred during the construction of the centre and we have arranged the tracks, but it is of the same importance that we have solved the problems of power supply and the optical network.”
There are some problems only because of the snow amount. “We are happy with the abnormally high snow cover because of the tracks, but it has also caused us a lot of extra work. I believe that the world championships will be successful, because the organizers will definitely do their best. We have put a lot of effort in it. Initially, we planned that as many as 700 people would take part in the project, but now with no spectators, 400 workers would take part in the implementation,” said Zupan, who emphasized that there is a successful combination of experienced and young people.
Pokljuka’s new partner in indispensable technical support is Telekom Slovenije. “Telekom Slovenije, with a powerful communication infrastructure and advanced services, provides the organizers of the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2019 in Pokljuka with comprehensive information and communication support for the implementation of sports competitions at the highest level. At the same time we provide the viewers with a superior user experience in following this sports event from their homes. For the needs of the competition, we provided additional network capacities on the Pokljuka plateau and, among other things, established mobile 5G data transmission,” pointed out Gregor Bizjak, project manager of Pokljuka 2021 at Telekom Slovenije.