All you need to know about Biathlon at Lausanne 2020
The individual and team biathlon events on show at the Youth Olympic Games this January.
Burning muscles and ice-cold nerves, there is no sport quite like Biathlon.
Competitors must master the contrasting elements of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting in this all-encompassing event.
That requires both endurance and pin-point accuracy – no easy feat when your heart is racing at around 180 beats per minute.
This exhausting all-body workout has a history dating back to the 18th century, while is has been a regular fixture at the Winter Olympics since 1960.
With regards to the sport’s future, the next generation will be out to ski and shoot their way to gold at the Youth Olympic Games this January.
Olympic Channel Video: biathlon-sport-explainer-lausanne-2020
How to watch Biathlon at Youth Olympic Games
Olympic Channel will stream 300 hours of action from the 13 days of competition in Lausanne 2020 with a dedicated Winter YOG channel available on olympicchannel.com, YouTube and connected devices such as Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android TV and Roku.
There will be an action-packed daily live show featuring news, highlights, trending stories and interviews in a fun and interactive format streamed on Facebook, Twitter and olympicchannel.com, plus a daily Olympic Channel Podcast featuring insightful interviews with personalities from across the Olympic world.
Fans can also follow Olympic Channel's coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about the event, while a full schedule of events - including online streaming details can be found here.
Biathlon location and dates
The biathlon will take place in Les Tuffes, France, from January 11 to 15 at Lausanne 2020. See the full schedule.
The four Biathlon events
There will be four different Biathlon events taking place at Lausanne 2020.
The men’s and women’s individual competition is the most traditional format.
Men ski 12.5km and women 10km, and it is broken up by four rounds of shooting – alternating between the prone and standing position.
A missed target equates to one minute added to an athlete’s overall time. The lowest time, including penalties, wins.
The sprint sees men ski 7.5km and women 6km, with just two rounds of shooting. First in the prone position, and then standing.
Unlike the individual competition, one missed target in the sprint equates to one 150-metre penalty loop.
With five targets to aim for in each bout, landing all 10 shots is often vital if an athlete wants to post the fastest time.
The mixed team relay features four athletes per nation, with the race order of woman-woman-man-man.
A mass start is used in the mixed team relay, unlike the individual and sprint which both use interval starts – usually 30 seconds.
The mixed team relays follows similar rules to the sprint with women skiing 6km and men 7.5km, while the 150m penalty loop is also in place.
All athletes have two rounds of shooting at five targets, with three extra shots per bout if required, while it is the team the crosses the line first who wins.
Olympic Channel Video: the-evolution-of-biathlon
The single mixed relay reduces the number of athletes per nation from four to two.
That means twice the work for each athlete, with females skiing 2 x 3km and males 3km then 4.5km – with two shooting bouts per round.
The order is woman-man-woman-man, while the penalty loop is shortened to 75m. Like the mixed team relay, first over the line wins.
Long distances, fine margins
Never mind the cross-country skiing, the distance is also considerable when it comes to the rifle shooting.
With the heart pounding, chest heaving, and eyesight unsteady, athletes must aim at a target 50m away.
When standing, that target is 115mm in diameter, and that drops to a minuscule 45mm when shooting in the prone position.
It therefore means that a sport which covers kilometres of cross-country trails can come down to a matter of millimetres on the range.
Claude produced a flawless shooting display, and ultimately finished 7.1 seconds ahead of Bakken, whose two misses forced him into two costly 150m penalty loops.
A perfect performance on the range also allowed Juliane Fruhwirt to claim gold ahead of Marthe Krakstad Johansen – who missed just once and finished less than six seconds to clinch silver.
Full Biathlon schedule at Lausanne 2020
Saturday, January 11
10:30 - 12:05 Women’s Individual Competition 10km
13:30 - 15:15 Men’s Individual Competition 12.5km
Sunday, January 12
10:30 - 11:40 Single Mixed Relay
Tuesday, January 14
10:30 - 11:55 Women’s Sprint 6km
13:30 - 15:00 Men’s Sprint 7.5km
Wednesday, January 15
10:30 - 12:35 Mixed Relay