Pokljuka, 24th November 2016 - With the mixed relays on sunday the new season of BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon will begin in Östersund, Sweden. Pokljuka will this year be the second venue, hosting the races from the 8th to 11th of December. The official training will take place on Thursday, on Friday biathletes will compete on both sprints on Saturday pursuits and on Sunday both relays will take place.
Big piles of snow grew on Rudno polje at the beginning of November because of the low temperatures. There is around 10.000 cubic meters of snow, however 14 days before the competition, the tracks are still green. Warm weather and rain in the last week prevented the preparation of the track. „The temperatures are really high. Luckily 14 or even 10 days ago were low enough so we were able to produce a lot of compact snow. We also have around 10.000 cubic meters of stored snow and that means that the competition, except if the temperatures will be really high when the snow will be on the track, is not endangered,“ said the Chief of Competiton Matej Kordež about the current conditions. He plans with his team to put the snow on the tracks at the beginning of next week. But it all depends on the weather forecast. And it seems the temperatures will drop below zero degrees Celsius at the beginning of next week.
All the other aspects of the preparation are running smoothly. We started preparing the mobile infrastructure, the container village for the teams will be ready next week. The registration of the athletes closed yesterday: „33 teams entered with competitors and will compete on Pokljuka. Almost 300 biathletes and almost as many team staff will be here. All the stars of the sport including last year's winners of total score Gabriela Koukalova and Martin Fourcade. We expect the first teams at the 5th of December, when most of the athletes will arrive with the charter flight from Sweden. The next day they will already be able to train at Rudno polje,“ said the OC Secretary General Tomaž Šušteršič.
Thousands of fans put a strong mark on biathlon races in the previous years of the competition. The biathletes would like to fell again the amazing atmosphere that the spectators create at Pokljuka Biathlon Stadium: „The interest in the weekend of biathlon is big, especially among the foreign visitors, the hotels at Bled and partly also in Bohinj are going to be filled with friends of biathlon. The daily tickets are still available, you can buy them at the Eventim selling points, but we really recommened that you buy them at the Petrol gas stations, where you will get a discount. At the day of the competition the tickets will also be available at the entrance of the venue,“ added Šušteršič.
Also the media representatives have a big interest in this event. „At the moment we have almost one hundred accredited journalists, photographers and other media representatives, all the others who still want to be accredited, can apply till 25th of November, though the website of Biathlon Pokljuka or the IBU website,“ reminded the chief of media centre at Pokljuka Antonija Ražen.