IBU announces World Cup schedule for final trimester of 2020/21 season
The International Biathlon Union (IBU) today announced the BMW IBU World Cup schedule for the final trimester of the 2020/21 season.
As previously confirmed, the IBU World Championships Biathlon will take place in Pokljuka (SLO) on 9-21 February. After the World Championships the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon will have the usual one-week break and then have three stops as planned. However, in line with the IBU’s ongoing COVID-19 protocols of minimising travel to protect athlete and stakeholder safety, they will be hosted in just two venues. Nove Mesto na Morave (CZE) will now host two events, before the season concludes in Oslo Holmenkollen (NOR).
Nove Mesto will host the World Cup event originally planned in the Olympic venue of Beijing 2022 but one week later with competitions scheduled from 4-7 March 2021. The start times for the first week in Nove Mesto are to be decided. The dates and times for the second World Cup week in Nove Mesto and the Oslo Holmenkollen World Cup remain unchanged.
Given the time until the third trimester, the IBU and both Organizing Committees and National Federations have agreed that at the end of January 2021 there will be an evaluation of the status of the pandemic in their respective countries and a review of the support of the national authorities to hold the events.
IBU President Olle Dahlin said:
“We are pleased to have confirmed the schedule for the full 2020/21 which will allow our athletes and National Federations to prepare for the next four months of competition. While we must remain flexible to change, we are delighted that we have been able to keep the same number of World Cup events as we originally planned for next season and that we have ensured that all levels of biathlon will be served with international competitions.
“It is of course disappointing that we will not be able to visit every World Cup venue we had intended and we will miss not visiting Beijing in the third trimester. But the health of our biathlon family has always been our first priority and guided our decision making throughout this process. We would like to thank our partners in the Organising Committee, National Federations, broadcasters and sponsors for their ongoing cooperation and flexibility in ensuring that we are able to host a safe 2020/21 season.
“The upcoming 2020/21 season will be unlike any the biathlon family has ever experienced. But with the biathlon family all working together we are optimistic that we will have many sporting highlights.”
Originally Beijing had been scheduled to host the first of the World Cup events in March, with the competition also serving as a Beijing 2022 test event. But the IOC, Beijing 2022 and the Winter International Federations took the decision to cancel the international test event and replace it with an adapted sports testing programme. In order to guarantee the highest possible standards for the Olympic biathletes in 2022, the IBU has entered discussions with Beijing 2022, the Chinese Biathlon Association and the IOC to define the details of the adjusted testing of the Olympic biathlon venue in Zhangjiakou.
The IBU COVID-19 Event Guidelines which will be followed at every event in the 2020/21 season can be found here: https://www.biathlonworld.com/about-ibu/inside-ibu/staysafe/