18.01.2023 - The World Cup in Antholz kicks off with the women's sprint event

18.01.2023 - The World Cup in Antholz kicks off with the women's sprint event

Everything is set for Italy's biggest winter sports event: the Biathlon World Cup in Antholz will open on Thursday afternoon with the women's sprint race starting at 2:30 pm.

A total of six competitions will take place at the Südtirol Arena from today until Sunday. After a two-year break due to the coronavirus, the stands will finally be full of spectator once more in the Antholzertal valley.

As the world's best female biathletes compete in the 7.5-kilometre distance with two shooting stages, all eyes at the Südtirol Arena will be on Julia Simon. This should come as no surprise, considering that the 26-year-old from France is the overall World Cup leader. The biathlete from Albertville happens to be particularly fond of the track in Antholz. She won the mass start race here two years ago and took bronze with the relay team. Last year, Simon added to her medal collection by winning the individual silver medal.

Julia Simon is the star of this season: She has already stood on the podium eleven times this year, five of them at the very top. After 12 of 21 competitions, the Frenchwoman leads the overall ranking with 756 points ahead of Elvira Öberg (615) from Sweden and the "Azzurra" Lisa Vittozzi (538). In the sprint ranking, however, Germany's Denise Herrmann-Wick leads the field after four of seven races held.

Multiple contenders for the sprint medal

There are other contenders in a close sprint competition in Antholz. For instance, local hero Dorothea Wierer: The 32-year-old currently ranked fourth overall in the World Cup, should of course not be taken lightly on her home track. Wierer is in top form, she already has six podium finishes so far this winter: At the World Cup opening in Kontiolahti, the Pustertal native came in in second place in the pursuit, and with the relay team she came in third in Hochfilzen. In Pokljuka, Wierer reached the podium three times (third in the sprint, second in the pursuit, and second in the mixed relay). Just last weekend, Wierer won her latest bronze medal with the relay team in Ruhpolding. Her teammate, Lisa Vittozzi, who is in good form, is also a force to be reckoned with. Additional challenges should be expected from Norway's Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold and Sweden's Linn Persson. With Samuela Comola, Rebecca Passler and Hannah Auchentaller, three additional Italians will be competing at the Südtirol Arena.

On Friday, the competition schedule in Antholz will continue with the men's sprint competition (10 km). The start signal will once again be fired at 2:30 pm. Biathlon fans can look forward to a double sporting treat this weekend! Saturday is the day of the men’s and women’s pursuit. The start time for the women (10 km) has been set for 1 p.m. and for the men (12.5 km) at 3 pm. On Sunday, the World Cup week at the Südtirol Arena will wrap up with the relay races. At 11:45 am the women will start the 4x6 km loop, while the men's relay (4x7.5 km) will start at 2:30 pm.
 
18.01.2023 - The World Cup in Antholz kicks off with the women's sprint event
18.01.2023 - The World Cup in Antholz kicks off with the women's sprint event
18.01.2023 - The World Cup in Antholz kicks off with the women's sprint event
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