Biathlon World Championships at Ruhpolding
The Biathlon World Championships, held this year in the Chiemigau Arena of Ruhpolding (GER) from Thursday 1 March to Sunday 11 March, have just ended.
This is the fourth time the Biathlon World Championships have been held in Ruhpolding and 400 athletes from 45 different nations battled for a total of 33 medals. During the eight days of competition, more than 218,000 spectators came from all over the world to this small Bavarian town. Never have so many people attended the Biathlon World Championships. There was not an empty bed to be found said the event's organizer.
The arena, which held all the competitions, was modernized the previous year in anticipation of the world championships; even the snow-making systems were renovated and provided by TechnoAlpin. The snow guns installed in the arena are: 2 x M20 mobile, 4 x T40 mobile, 2 x T60 mobile, 2 x T60 on lifts and 2 x T60 on 10m arms to guarantee a perfect base on the trail which was recently widened. 2 cooling towers also cool the water to the best temperature for snow-making. These machines ensured that the slope would be in the best condition throughout the entire championships, thanks to the 40,000m² of technical snow produced, thus guaranteeing the continuous snow-making of the circuit on which the various competitions are held.
These world championships probably could not have been held without the help of technical snow-making, given the unseasonal temperatures which occurred during the entire period of the competitions.
The opening of the world championships was held on Wednesday, 29 February in the Championspark of Ruhpolding, where 10,000 enthusiastic spectators attended.
The star in the men's field was, without doubt, the Frenchman, Martin Fourcade, who with his three golds (Sprint, Pursuit and Mass Start) and one silver (Relay) proved that he was the athlete in the best shape, as well as being the strongest. The Slovenian, Jakov Fak, won the gold for the Individual, making history as the first Slovenian to win a gold medal at a World Championship. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, a legend in the Biathlon, managed to win two other golds, even if only in Relay.
In the women's field, the Queen of the World Championships was the Norwegian, Tora Berger, winning three golds (Mixed Relay, Individual and Mass Start) and a bronze (Relay). At the end of this last race, the champion revealed that three years ago she managed to overcome a tumor - a beautiful story for a great champion. The French woman, Marie Laure Brunet, was certainly among the stars of this world championship. Unfortunately, in Tora Berger, she ran into an adversary who is unbeatable at the moment and therefore had to be "satisfied" with three silvers, always behind the Norwegian.
The young German champion, Magdalena Neuner, who announced her farewell to competitions at the end of the season, won two golds (Sprint and Relay), a silver (Pursuit) and a bronze (Mixed Relay). For a champion like her, these medals are just a normal event.
Lastly, the Belarus champion, Darya Domracheva, managed to capture a gold and a silver, thereby crowning a more than positive season.
These championships were among the most spectacular, both from the sports and the organizational point of view, thanks to the 1,100 volunteers who helped the coordinators during the entire event.
Image: Ruhpolding Tourismus GmbH