Countdown to World Championships in Pokljuka begins

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The organizers of biathlon competitions in Pokljuka sorted out on Saturday the last contractual formalities to host the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 by signing an event hosting declaration with the International Biathlon Union (IBU). The countdown has thus started to one of the largest sport events in Slovenian in the coming years.

“This is in a way a symbolic start to the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 project in Pokljuka,” said Tim Farčnik, the vice-president of the Pokljuka Organizing Committee, as the declaration was signed nearly exactly a year after the venue was awarded the event.

The first test of the venue after the signing will be held in January 2020, as Pokljuka hosts the biathlon World Cup, followed by final preparations for the world championships. The works will be focused on the media centre, facilities for athletes and logistics plans.

The declaration signed today regulates technical details of the organization of the event and its financial plan, which is estimated at EUR 7.8 million, as well as the obligations of the IBU and the organizers.

It was signed by Pokljuka Sport Association president Peter Zupan on behalf of the Organizing Committee, by Blaž Repinc, the head of Biathlon Assembly at the Ski Association of Slovenia, and by IBU Secretary General Niklas Carlsson.

“Today we formalised the relationship between the IBU and organizers. This is essentially a steering document. Pokljuka is an experienced host of international biathlon competitions, so we don’t doubt that the championships will be organized successfully,” Carlsson said at the signing.

According to Carlsson, the IBU is satisfied with the organization plans. He has assessed that the most of the work will relate to maximizing the use of space given the limitations involved, as the event will be organized in a national park.

For this reason, the number of visitors (around 135,000) is expected to be lower than at past world championships, but the organizers promise that the championships in Pokljuka will be special.

“It will not be the largest world championships by number of spectators, but it will certainly go down in history as a unique championships as the venue stands in the middle of the Triglav National Park,” said Tomaž Šušteršič, the secretary general of biathlon events at Pokljuka.

The organizers also presented the official slogan, Slovenia for Biathlon (with love capitalised), which was praised by Carlsson, who like the Slovenian representatives sees the event as an excellent opportunity to popularize biathlon in Slovenia.

“The world championshisp is our flagship product and the IBU’s main objective is to promote biathlon and attract as many people as possible to this sport and also to have a great show. I think Pokljuka offers all the conditions for this,” he said.