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Tag: Olympic Biathlon Tickets

Olympic Biathlon: Olympic cross-country champion Nilsson will “never regret” biathlon switch

Swedish biathlete Stina Nilsson has insisted she will “never regret” choosing to switch from cross-country skiing to biathlon. A double cross-country world champion in 2019 and the winner of four Olympic medals in 2018, Nilsson changed sports earlier this year in response to a rib injury.

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No matter how this goes, I will never regret my choice, Nilsson said in an interview with the Swedish Newspaper Sport blade. What I now know will come forward means that I will never regret it. 

It can go as it goes. Nilsson is a much happier person since making a decision she long-negotiated in her mind, she added. The 27-year-old, who won gold in the sprint at Pyeongchang 2018 as well as two team silvers and a 30-kilometer bronze, had always wanted to switch to biathlon but made the move sooner than once planned following injury.

Jean-Marc Chabloz recently joined the Swedish World Cup biathlon team as a shooting coach as the country aims to build towards success at the Beijing 2022 and Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics. Chabloz is expected to work closely with Nilsson, who revealed her shooting is improving.

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“It gets better and I learn new things every day, but I still hit my head in it all the time,” she said.

Sweden finished third in the biathlon medals table at Pyeongchang 2018, winning two golds and four overall.

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Olympic Biathlon: Zaitseva nominated for Russian Biathlon Union Board despite Sochi 2014 disqualification

Olga Zaitseva has been nominated to sit on the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) Board, despite her disqualification from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics for doping. The 42-year-old confirmed to Russia’s state news agency TASS that she had been put forward for the role at the troubled organization by the Biathlon Federation of Moscow head Sergey Rozhkov.

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It is an extremely contentious choice as Zaitseva was one of the athletes concerned in the McLaren Report, which exposed an orchestrated system of Russian doping and cover-ups at their home Sochi Games. The International Olympic Committee’s Oswald Commission, which investigated the scandal, ruled that she was a “knowing participant” in the doping scheme in one of the more-strongly written verdicts it delivered.

Zaitseva’s samples, it was declared, had marks indicative of tampering and were found to contain abnormal levels of salt. She was bare of the silver medal she won in the 4×6 kilometers relay together with Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina, with all three complicated in ongoing legal proceedings at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a bid to reverse the decision.

“Yes, I was chosen as a candidate for the RBU by the Moscow Biathlon Alliance,” Zaitseva said to TASS.

And then the vote will choose. The RBU is due to host its Journalism and Election Conference in Khimki on July 11, where an Executive election will be held. In 2017, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) demoted the RBU to temporary member status as sentence for the country’s doping scandal.

Current RBU president Vladimir Drachev has faced pressure to quit and last month revealed that the amount of money owed to the IBU as a condition for reinstatement was likely to rise. The sum currently owed is at least €350,000, according to TASS.

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Zaitseva is a double Olympic gold medalist after winning relay golds at Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010. She also won mass start silver in Vancouver and boasts three World Championship golds. In March, the lawyer representing Zaitseva, Romanova, and Vilukhina claimed at CAS that signatures on key documents provided by whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov were fake.

Alexei Panich contended Rodchenkov’s signature was only on two of the nine documents obtainable at the hearing. Rodchenkov provided much of the evidence to the McLaren Report and his lawyer Jim Walden said in response that electronic signatures had been used in place of written ones. Zaitseva, Romanova, and Vilukhina have filed a distinct complaint against Rodchenkov, the former skull of the Moscow Anti-Doping Workroom who for his safety leftovers in an undisclosed location.  

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Olympic Biathlon: Former Russian biathlon coach claims doping was widespread in past years

Former Russian biathlon coach Anatoli Khovantsev has admitted that he could “count clean biathletes on one hand” as recent as six years ago but has stressed he believes it is now harder to cheat in the sport. Khovantsev has claimed that a whole generation of biathletes was doping, but said that was no longer a case when he coached the team from 2018 to 2020.

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He was replaced by vice-president Valery Polkhovsky as head coach earlier this year after a series of poor performances this year from both the men and women’s team, with the latter winning no World Cup events. He confided in sports.ru about systemic doping in the nation saying: Between 2002 and 2014, you could count clean biathletes on the fingers of one hand.

“Returning to a ‘normal’ training technique is not easy, but for the last five or six years, we have been improving and it is much better. In biathlon, a whole generation was brought up on doping, returning to a normal technique is not easy.”

In February, Evgeny Ustyugov was banned for two years and was stripped of his Sochi 2014 Olympic gold medal due to tests dating back to 2013, but Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes that genetic tests can help clear the biathlete’s name. In the same month, biathlete Alexander Loginov had his room raided by Italian police following a request from the International Biathlon Union.

Loginov, who served a two-year doping ban for Erythropoietin between 2014 and 2016, had phones and laptops belonging to him and his coach Alexander Kasperovich seized during the World Championships in Antholz-Anterselva in Italy.

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Khovantsev also said it is difficult for those now in power blamed for the past saying: “The Federation and the coaches who are currently working are reaping the fruits of these years when Russia experienced doping problems.”

Russia had 10 positive tests by biathletes between 2011 and 2015 that were covered up, according to the McLaren Report. The country had 643 positive samples across all sports.

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Olympic Biathlon: Biathlon nations announce multiple coaching changes for next season

Numerous nations have announced changes to their biathlon coaching teams for the upcoming 2020-21 winter season. One of the big names to make a move was France’s women’s shooting coach Franck Badiou who left his position, to be replaced by the experienced Jean-Paul Giachino.

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Giachino, who is 57 years old, had previously been the shooting coach for women’s shooting from 2007 to 2018 and recently worked in the same position for the French juniors alongside junior head coach Simon Fourcade. Speaking to Ski Chrono, he said he was delighted to return to the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup.

Giachino said: “When I was offered the job, I was surprised. I am sorry to leave the juniors, but I am still attracted to the World Cup. I know the circuit well and the girls know me, I have no magic wand, but I have convictions and philosophy.”

The girls had a good season, but they lacked consistency in the shooting. We have a job to do and no time to waste, there are two years before the Winter Olympics – the time will go very quickly.

Another return sees Ondřej Rybář move back into his position of men’s head coach for the Czech Republic, after a spell as the nation’s sporting director. Rybář left his role after the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics to spend more time with his family and travel less, but was often regarded as the key to the Czech Republic’s success in the sport.

Moving back, he said: “I don’t see it as a radical change, there are still people around the team who have been working together for a long time.  I would rather say that we regrouped the team a little and redistributed our work activities.” 

We are looking for the best way to handle a demanding program. From moving across positions across borders, Gerald Hönig will go from Germany to Austria to work as the shooting coach for the women’s team alongside Markus Fischer.

He had previously worked as the German women’s head coach from 2014 to 2018 before taking the position of shooting coach for the team. Replacing him in Germany is Engelbert Sklorz who has previously coached Olympic champion, Arnd Peiffer, while Tobias Reiter returns to the German set-up, working with the women’s team.

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Juraj Sinatra has also earned a promotion in Ukraine, moving from the men’s coach to being the head coach of both the men’s and women’s teams. The Slovak will now monitor both squads ahead of Beijing 2022, with Alexey Kravchenk and Roman Pryma now taking charge of the men’s team and Alexander Bilanenko and Igor Yaschchenko guiding the women.

Finally, former Austria men’s coach Reinhard Gösweiner, who recently worked with the Austrian juniors, has moved across the European continent to Belarus as the nation’s new women’s coach, working alongside 10-time World Championship medalist Oleg Ryzhenkov. Andrei Padin, who has years of experience working with the Russian team in various roles, will now coach Belarus’ men’s team.

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