Biathlon Canada


Biathlon is the combination of two conflicting disciplines – physically demanding cross country skiing and focused precision shooting. In the same competition, the athlete skis 3 to 5 loops of at least 2.5km at full exertion and then at the end of each loop shoots a 22 calibre rifle at 5 targets roughly the size of a Toonie 50 meters away with their heart still racing from the skiing. Each missed target results in a time penalty or a penalty loop that must be completed before starting the next lap. Quite simply, biathlon is an extremely exciting spectator sport because you never know what will happen. It is common for a competitor to overexert themselves skiing and then miss several targets or conversely be too conservative skiing and fall too far behind even with good shooting. The Biathlon competitor with the fastest time for the combination of skiing and shooting wins the race.

There are four main types of Biathlon competitions – Sprint, Pursuit, Mass Start and Individual. The first three all use a 150M penalty loop for each missed target while the Individual competition places the onus on shooting with a one minute penalty for each missed target. The Sprint format features three laps of skiing and two bouts of shooting. The shooting for all race types is split evenly between prone (lying down to shoot) and standing. While the Sprint format has three laps, the other three disciplines have five laps of skiing and four bouts of shooting. The Pursuit race is usually run a day after the Sprint where the winner of the Sprint starts the Pursuit race ahead of the second place finisher by the winning margin and so on down to the 60th position in the Sprint. The Mass Start features the 30 top ranked participants starting at the same time.  There are also relays for Biathlon featuring 4 competitors on a team.

National Sport Organization:

Biathlon Canada

Biathlon Canada will achieve consistent International podium performance by leading, promoting, developing and governing biathlon in Canada to the highest standard of excellence.

We see consistent medal contenders in international competitions who are lead and supported by an effective and dynamic organization, which also provides a domestic program of rewarding participation opportunities for all members.

Excellence, Leadership, Democracy, Athlete Centered, Safety

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