Biathlon is a sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, two events that are very different from each other. Athletes strap the guns on their backs, ski for a certain distance, and then stop to shoot at a designated target. For the shooting, there are two types of the shooting positions. One of these is shooting while lying face down, and the other is shooting while standing up. The final ranking is decided according to the skiing time and the accuracy of the shooting. In the Winter Olympics, a total of 11 events are contended, including 5 for men, 5 for women, and 1 mixed.
Description of the Events
- The biathlon competitions can be largely divided into individual, sprint, relay, pursuit, and mass start.
- Men: 10km sprint, 20km individual, 4x7.5km relay, 12.5km pursuit, and 15km mass start.
- Women: 7.5km sprint, 15km individual, 4x6km relay, 10km pursuit, and 12.5km mass start.
- The mixed relay: Women 2x6km + Men 2x7.5km.
- Athletes' starts are staggered by 30 seconds or 1 minute.
- While skiing, a total of 4 rounds of shooting are carried out prone, standing, prone, standing. Each round has 5 shots per time.
- For each missed target, a penalty point of 1 minute is added, to the skiing time of the athlete.
- The athletes’ departures are staggered at 30 seconds or 1 minute intervals.
- During the skiing, a total of the 2 rounds of shootings are carried out one prone and one standing for a total of 10 shots.
- For each missed target, a penalty loop of 150m must be skied before the athlete can continue the race.
- A time limit of 23 to 30 seconds is required to ski the penalty course.
- The order of the departure is decided from the results of the Sprint and the Individual competitions.
- The winners of the Sprint and the Individual competition depart first in the Pursuit competition. The other athletes depart according to the amount of time they were behind the Sprint winner.
- While skiing, a total of 4 rounds of shootings are carried out with 5 shots each round. Shootings are carried out prone, prone, standing, standing. If a target is missed, the athlete must ski the 150m penalty loop each time and continue the race.
- All the athletes depart simultaneously and stop 4 times to shoot. They shoot 2 rounds of 5 shots prone, and then, 2 rounds of 5 shots standing. Every time they miss the target they must ski the 150m penalty loop before they continue the race.
- The athlete who crosses the finish line first is the winner.
- Each team is organised with 4 athletes. The men’s competition is 7.5km long and the women’s is 6km.
- The shooting takes place in two intervals, in the men’s competition after skiing 2.5km and 5km and in the women’s competition after skiing 2km and 4km. In Relay, athletes are given 3 spare bullets for every round of 5 targets but if there is any miss after 5 bullets, then these spare 3 bullets must be hand loaded into the magazine of the rifle adding to the time and pressure of the event. For each target miss after all the 8 bullets, the athlete must ski the 150m penalty loop just like in the Sprint competition.
- The first runner of each team departs simultaneously. There is a 30m long x 8m wide handover zone where the incoming and outgoing skiers make bodily contact and continue on in the race.
- A mixed team is comprised of 2 women and 2 men.
- The 2 women execute two rounds of shootings at the 6Km mark. And the 2 men athletes execute two rounds of shootings at the 7.5km mark.
- The first athlete of each team starts simultaneously in the Mixed Relay competitions. The order of the departures of the runners are woman, woman, man, man. The rules of the competitions are the same as Relay.