17.01.2024 - The World Cup in Antholz will kick off with the Men's Short Individual competition

17.01.2024 - The World Cup in Antholz will kick off with the Men's Short Individual competition

The stage is set for Italy's biggest winter sports event: the Biathlon World Cup in Antholz will kick off on Thursday afternoon at 2:20 pm with the men's short individual race.

A total of six competitions will take place at the Südtirol Arena until Sunday.
When the world's best biathletes tackle the 15-kilometre distance with four shooting stages on Thursday, all eyes in the Südtirol Arena will be on the team from Norway. This is hardly surprising considering that six Scandinavians are currently leading the men’s overall IBU World Cup standings. Johannes Thingnes Bø once again sits firmly at the top of the leaderboard with 671 points followed by his brother Tarjei Bø (593) and Johannes Dale-Skjevdal (589). Last year, Bø was virtually unbeatable, but this year the 30-year-old has "only" six World Cup victories and four podium finishes to his credit. Bø certainly feels at home in Antholz, having won all three races here 12 months ago (sprint, pursuit & relay).

Multiple contenders for the individual victory

This year's World Cup schedule in Antholz will feature a European debut at the World Cup on the first two days with the short individual race. This race, which has only been held once before in Canmore in 2019, is a shortened form of the classic individual competition. The distances have been reduced to 15 km for the men and 12.5 km for the women and instead of incurring a penalty minute, just 45 seconds will be added per shooting mistake.

The men's favourites in tomorrow's individual competition in Antholz will of course include athletes other than the Bø brothers and Dale-Skevdal. Their teammates in the Südtirol Arena, Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, Endre Strømsheim and Sturla Holm Laegreid, should also not be taken lightly. The German biathlon stars could also achieve a top result: Benedikt Doll is in great form this year, as is Philipp Nawrath. Meanwhile, the two Swedes Martin Ponsiluoma and Sebastian Samuelsson will also look set to impress.

On the Italian side, Tommaso Giacomel will be one to watch. The 23-year-old “Azzurro," who is celebrating his 99th World Cup start in the singles, achieved a sensational second-place finish in the Ruhpolding sprint. Giacomel has also managed two podium finishes with the relay team this year (3rd place each time). In addition, he won a bronze medal with the mixed relay team in Östersund. It goes without saying that South Tyrolean fans will be looking forward to the performances of Lukas Hofer from Montal and Patrick Braunhofer from Ridnaun. And with Didier Bionaz and Elia Zeni, two more Italians will be competing in Antholz.

The race competition in Antholz will continue on Friday with the women's short individual race (12.5 km). The starting time has been shifted forward to 1:40 pm. At the weekend, biathlon fans can look forward to a dual sporting treat. After all, Saturday’s action revolves around the relay race competitions. The start time for the single mixed event is set for 12:55 pm and the mixed relay for 2:45 pm. Finally, the World Cup week in the Südtirol Arena will come to a close on Sunday with the mass starts. The men will set off on the 15 km loop at 12:30 pm, while the women's race (12.5 km) will commence at 2:45 pm.

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17.01.2024 - The World Cup in Antholz will kick off with the Men's Short Individual competition
17.01.2024 - The World Cup in Antholz will kick off with the Men's Short Individual competition
17.01.2024 - The World Cup in Antholz will kick off with the Men's Short Individual competition
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