30 years of the first World Cup in Pokljuka

Exactly 30 years ago, the first edition of the Biathlon World Cup took place on Pokljuka. The organizers embarked on an unknown journey between 17 and 20 December 1992, and thanks to their immense dedication and love for the sport, the first organizational contact with the biathlon elite ended more than successfully. Six Slovenians took part in the first three races of the best biathlon athletes in the world. In the 20 km individual race, Boštjan Lekan became the first Slovenian biathlete to win World Cup points with his 14th place. In addition to the individual race, there was also a 10 km sprint race and a 4 x 7.5 km relay, in which Uroš Velepec, Aleksander Grajf, Boštjan Lekan and Janez Ožbolt defended Slovenia’s national colours. The men’s relay team finished in 8th place. The first winners of the individual race on Pokljuka were Patrice Bailly-Salis and Anne Briand from France. After the excellent event in the 16th World Cup season, Pokljuka has secured its traditional place on the calendar of venues visited by biathletes during the season.

Slovenia’s first victory two decades later

The 2012/2013 season was underway when the historic first biathlon victory for Slovenia in Pokljuka was won by Jakov Fak. In the 10 km sprint race, he overtook two biathlon aces, Norway’s Emil Hegel Svendsen and France’s Martin Fourcade, without missing a shot and with a great run.

Since the first biathlon shot was fired more than three decades ago, the Rudno polje has hosted not only the traditional World Cup races, but also the biggest competitions. Slovenia hosted the pursuit World Championships in 1998 and the mixed relay in 2006. The two biggest milestones in terms of the organising of biathlon events are the World Championships. They were held on the Pokljuka plateau in 2001 and 2021.