Biathlon World Cup coming to Vysočina

Skiing and shooting competition draws fans from around the world

The Biathlon World Cup competition comes to Nové Město na Moravě in the Vysočina region on Dec. 15–18 with the main events on the weekend. Czech biathletes will be among those competing to reach the podium. The biathlon is a winter sport combining cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. The event is sold out, with some 120,000 tickets in total taken up by fans. No tickets are left to be sold at the venues. Organizers urge people to get to the arena early, and to be ready for the cold weather.

“We have beautifully the frozen tracks. We hope that people will enjoy an impeccable biathlon festival to show that we deserve to be part of the World Cup,” Czech Biathlon Union President Jiří Hamza told the daily Sport. He added that he was nervous about the event and sometimes wishes it was already over, but now he is looking forward to it.

Czech biathlete and Olympic two-time silver medalist Gabriela Koukalová said the venue left her without words, and that she has never seen anything bigger. She added that the grandstand made her feel like a gladiator, and she was surprised at the level of interest from fans.

Interest among Czech fans has been large, in part due to the success of Czech biathletes such as Koukalová. Foreign fans are also coming in large numbers, and as with all large events these days there will be extra security precautions and checks.

The Czech Biathlon Union has a budget this year of some Kč 61 million, which is more than last year. Hamza pointed out that standards in the sport are rising. The association, however, will end the year with funds remaining. The surplus will be spent on training young biathletes. The union also hopes to host Wold Cup events three times in the next Olympic cycle.

There will be sprint competitions on Dec. 15 and 16, and men's and women's pursuit events on Dec. 17. The men's and women's mass start events will take place Dec. 18.

BMW IBU Biathlon World Cup @ Nové Město na Moravě 15. - 18.12. 2016

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