Pokljuka turning into Biathlon World Cup venue
Pokljuka, 5 January - The best biathletes in the world will assemble in Pokljuka in northwestern Slovenia to take part in men's and women's World Cup events. From Thursday through Sunday the organisers expect almost 270 competitors from 31 countries.
The last time the Pokljuka karst plateau hosted an international biathlon event was nearly two years ago during the 2021 World Championships.
This time around, Covid will not put a damper on the events as there will be spectators to cheer competitors on, many accompanying events at the location and Winter Fairytale events, including concerts and Christmas stalls, in the nearby lakeside resort Bled that have been extended to coincide with the biathlon events.
The World Cup events will include sprint, pursuit, mixed pairs and mixed relay events for women and men.
The favourite in the men's category is Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe, who could soon become the best of all times and smash the records in the number of wins and medals.
Among women biathletes there is no such clear favourite at the moment since recent World Cup events have seen different winners, but the roster of competitors to watch out for will get an exciting addition as Pokljuka will be the venue of Marte Olsbu Roeiseland's comeback.
The Norwegian had to sit out the first part of the season due to health problems and this will be her first outing this season.
The Slovenian team has high expectations with one of its trump cards being former cross-country skier Anamarija Lampič, who finished fifth in her first biathlon race, the sprint event, in early December. There is no doubt about her ability to outpace many rivals, but there is still room for improvement in her shooting.
Biathlon fans have been urged to use public transport to get to the venue to avoid parking problems and help preserve the local environment, which is part of the Triglav National Park.