Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Also, I don't know where you saw the year 2025 being mentioned. A decision states the following:
The implementation will be effective from the upcoming World Cup season on the World Cup level as well as on JWSC, U23 WSC and YOG level for now. The decision whether to implement it on World Ski Championships level will be discussed with all stakeholders and decided in May 2023.
 
okay, what the heck is that

does it mean that more than top-30 are going to score WC points?

World Cup Points
A dedicated working group compiled a new World Cup point table that is set to smaller the gaps between athletes in the Overall standings without devaluing top results. The table that was approved by the CCC gives the opportunity to a wider range of athletes to score World Cup points and gives a higher value for Distance athletes to participate in Sprint races and vice versa.

The new World Cup Point table will be uploaded in the World Cup Rules once approved by the FIS Council.
 
FIS has approved a motion for equal distance between men's and women's races from 2025 onward.

If this means the women's races get longer and we get to see 50, 30, 15, sprint instead of 30, 15, 10, sprint then I am 100% for it.

If it means the men's calendar becomes a series of 10ks and sprints with an occasional 30, then the mob and their pitchforks need dispatching to FIS headquarters.
If the majority of men's races are reduced from 15k to 10k, x-country will have very little interest. The biggest problem for x-country is that biathlon is more spectacular and steals all the attention, there isn't much that can be done to change this.
 
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If the majority of men's races are reduced from 15k to 10k, x-country will have very little interest. The biggest problem for x-country is that biathlon is more spectacular and steals all the attention, there isn't much that can be done to change this.
Neutral wax teams with a set of 4-5 different preps from which teams can choose, like F1 tyre compounds!

The biggest problem is that with biathlon there's always a guarantee that something could change every 5-6 minutes because of the trips to the range, whereas too many XC races run to predictable formula where nothing changes for a while (hello Therese skiing away from everybody in women's distance, hello men's distance mass starts with everybody skating as a bunch until the last kilometre or two), hence the proliferation of sprint events because at least you're guaranteed a bit of action every few minutes, even if it's more or less the same action each time. And without a means to cap the tech advantage of the richest teams, you're going to concentrate all the power in the hands of a few, and continue to bleed talent to biathlon, as both athletes and sports authorities spot the greater unpredictability and variety in biathlon and concentrate their efforts there. You don't have to be in the top 5 skiers on a given day to win in biathlon, there's always the shooter's chance, so if you're on a team like, say, Czech Republic or Poland and your XC budget will never compete with that of Norway, Sweden and Russia, unless you're a Kowalczyk-level outlier, why wouldn't you at least try out shooting, because the chance of a surprise win or podium is far, far higher in biathlon? Plus although some races may be more predictable than others, enough examples like Neuner in Antholz in '09 or Johannes Bø in Östersund in '19 mean a race isn't fundamentally over until at least the 80% distance mark, whereas a lot of XC races in the Bjørgen / Johaug era have been over before half distance.
 
I like the idea of having equal distances for men and women as I felt that the women's races were too short lately and its an almost guarantee that a proper distance skier will win the Tour de Ski plus a 50km mass-start should be pretty cool now that Johaug is retired but its a shame to see so many 10km races for the men, even Niskanen will struggle to beat Klaebo in a 10km classic individual race (fortunately there are two 20km individual races) but in my opinion the mass-start/pursuit races should always be 20km to give a win opportunity to proper distance skiers.

Apparently the decision of appying these distances to the World Championships will be done only in May 2023 but without the Russians around the Norwegians will dominate the men events next year anyway and if these distances are applied in the 2025 WC and 2026 Olympics, Klaebo will likely dominate these even if Bolshunov is around which would mean the Olympic 8 gold medal record being in real danger of falling.

I just hope that the make the relay 4×10km for the women and instead of 4×5km for the men as the latter would be a travesty for this sport
 
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The 50 km’s should be individual start races. The 30km skiathlon was a good race. If they wanted to change it they should have gone to the old format: 5km classic followed by a 10km skate handicap race for the women, and 10/15 for the men.

The sprints will be with us for a long time I am afraid. There’s no escaping them now.

The relays should stay 4x5 and 4x10. I don’t see the reason to shorten that. It’s been like this for decades.

Shortening and or scrapping races and distances to try and make the sport more popular won’t work. It’s never worked.
 
Shortening and or scrapping races and distances to try and make the sport more popular won’t work. It’s never worked.
It's less about thinking that this is genuinely the solution and more about administrators needing to be seen to be doing something about the audience to avoid coming under fire. It's why the old crutch of "young people have no attention span, make race shorter" keeps getting trotted out, because it's easy for executives (usually from an older generation) to tell sponsors and TV station executives (usually also from their generation) that the problem is not with the product but with the audience. It's a lot easier to say "audience tastes have changed, so we just need to follow those tastes and the audience will come back" than to admit "we neutered our own sport in the pursuit of a new audience and ran off a lot of the old one".
 
Interesting how Ulvang’s ideas came into power right at the end of his mandate. I am pretty sure now that he’s out that he won’t care about formats and distances.

Not sure what Eliasch can bring to the table, as he’s not a former athlete, just a rich businessman, but maybe he can push FIS in the right direction.

For the equaling of distances for men and women, France, Sweden, and the US voted in favor, while Austria, Italy, and Russia voted against it. It was something like 57% in favor and 36% against.
 
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Of countries not mentioned, Norwegian NSF voted against even it was Ulvangs proposal. Finland voted in favor.

I don’t think Eliasch cares about CC, probably just Alpine since his involvement in Head. If someone says a proposal will increase revenue he’ll be in favor.
 
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Full chaos in Swedish womens team. Svahn left first and is now followed by Dahlqvist and Karlsson whom are annoyed with both the financial and organizational structure. I fear this could turn ugly, it has been reports of tension before.
 
Single mixed biathlon relay to be included in the Olympics. This is absolutely ridicilous. Why don`t they just give a gold medal to every biathlete competing? Beyond lunatic, biathlon medals have notz really any value anymore to be honest. So many competitions that require exactly the same skills.
 
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I for one like the single mixed relay because it gives smaller nations a better chance to win a medal than in two other relay competitions, but I think they should cut the mixed relay in order to fit it in.
Wouldnt a two leg same gender relay like Team Sprint in CC be a better option in that regard?
 
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No, cause that would require two competions instead of one. Not all countries have two equally good competitiors of the same gender, but they might have one of each.
Why is that more likely? To me it sounds reasonable that small countries have tradition in one of the genders only. Not an expert in biathlon, but in Cross Country that’s definitely the case.
 
Why is that more likely? To me it sounds reasonable that small countries have tradition in one of the genders only. Not an expert in biathlon, but in Cross Country that’s definitely the case.
Just in recent years, though, you could have had potential medal contenders out of Slovenia (Jakov Fak & Teja Gregorin), Latvia (Andrejs Rastorgujevs & Baiba Bendika) and Austria (Simon Eder or Dominik Landertinger & Lisa Theresa Hauser) who would struggle to be competitive in either a one-gender two-person competition, or in a conventional relay. For many years the Austrian men were good but the women lagged well behind, now they've improved the women but most of their most successful generation retired on the men's side. Even among those, when they were active the Slovenes were pretty competitive as a Mixed Relay unit with Fak, Bauer, Gregorin and Andreja Mali.

As outsiders who could be competitive in this format you could have also added Estonia (Rene Zahkna & Tuuli Tomingas), until recently Lithuania (Tomas Kaukenas & Diana Rasimoviciute), the imported Koreans (Timofey Lapshin & either Anna Frolina or Ekaterina Avvakumova) and even Japan (Michito & Fuyuko Tachizaki).

Of those who would reasonably be better in one-gender versions of the Single Mixed Relay I'm not convinced there are any at the moment. Maybe the Czechs if Michal Krčmář continues to struggle to show any consistency, as Jislová had a good season, but the competition being based mainly on fast shooting and relatively short skiing loops doesn't suit Davidová. Slovakia maybe with the Fialková sisters, or Poland with Monika Hojnisz-Staręga and either Kinga Zbylut or Kamila Żuk, since their men have really disappeared since Tomasz Sikora retired. Maybe the Finnish men with Tuomas Harjula and Tero Seppälä? The American men ten years ago with Lowell Bailey & Tim Burke, and more recently their women with Susan Dunklee & Clare Egan, would be a possibility, but as all four are now retired...

The other thing to bear in mind is that adding this to the Olympic program will probably change the Mixed Relay startlist as it is unlikely many athletes will do both, so some teams will target one race and some teams will target another, based on their athletes' skillsets.
 
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