It brings two exciting competitions to delight the over 23,000 fans in the Südtirol Arena. From 11:45 today, Saturday, the die will be cast in the relay races.
They will begin just before lunchtime with the women’s race, where the Norway is again the favourite country to win. Why? Because the women’s quartet from Scandinavia has yet to be beaten this winter and the competition has not been able to stop them, either in Östersund, Hochfilzen, Oberhof or Ruhpolding. With Marte Olsu Røiseland, the Scandinavian team has the most successful biathlete of these championships, who could win her sixth World Championships medal.
The strongest opponents of the Norwegians are the Swiss quartet, who have raced and shot their way to three podium places this season. The Swiss biathletes only failed to make the top 3 in Oberhof, where they nevertheless finished in a very credible 5th place. In the overall World Cup rankings, they are in second place. Third place is currently held by the French team, who finished with a third and a second place in the relay to date.
Germany plans to be among the top
During this winter season Germany came in fourth a total of three times, only just missing the podium each time. Maybe Vanessa Hinz and team can finally achieve a hoped-for podium place this time. Host national Italy with World Championships star Dorothea Wierer improved steadily in the course of the season. The best Italian result so far is a seventh place. It would nevertheless be a great surprise if the local quartet brought home a medal.
The men will start at 2:45. Here too, Norway is the top favourite. Johannes Thingnes Bø and his team had to suffer a defeat earlier this season. In Ruhpolding, at the “dress rehearsal” of the World Championships, they were beaten by their permanent rivals from France. Previous to that, during the World Cup legs in Östersund, Hochfilzen and Oberhof, it was the Norwegian anthem that was played at the awards ceremony. This promises an exciting head to head race at the foot of Collalto.
In addition to Norway and France, Germany too could be a contender for Gold, Silver or Bronze. The biathletes from DSV club have already achieved a third and a second place.
Austria and the host nation Italy also achieved podium places this winter. However, their performances have so far been less consistent than those of Russia, Slovenia or Belarus, which are ranked fourth to sixth in the World Cup ranking.