Inform your biathlon predictions ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics with insight, analysis, and odds from Pinnacle.
The biathlon is back for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing with a total of 11 disciplines to look forward to.
Number of events in the biathlon
There are five Men’s, five Women’s, and one Mixed event with 33 medals up for grabs in total.
The men will contest the 10km Sprint, 20km Individual, 12.5km Pursuit, 15km Mass start, and 4 x 7.5km Relay events. Meanwhile, the women will contest the 7.5km Sprint, 15km Individual, 10km Pursuit, 12.5km Mass start, and 4 x 6km Relay events, while there is also a 4 x 6km Mixed Relay event.
The biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting with the length of the race divided into either two or four shooting rounds, meaning it is a test of both endurance and skill under pressure.
Medal hopes in the biathlon
In the Men’s events in the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, Frenchman Martin Fourcade took gold in the Pursuit and Mass start, but he will not be competing at this Olympics as he retired in 2020.
However, Norwegian gold medallist Johannes Thingnes Boe will be back for another Olympics. He took gold in the 20km Individual and was the bronze medallist in the 2021 World Championship in the Pursuit event. He is (at the time of writing) currently fifth in the World Cup standings but will be well-fancied to use his experience to earn another medal in Beijing this time around. The 28-year-old also won a medal at the recent World Cup event in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, taking the win in the 10km Sprint.
Currently topping the charts in the 2021-22 World Cup standings is Frenchman Quentin Fillon Maillet who is trailed by fellow countryman Emilien Jacquelin.
In the Women’s events, the one to watch will be Norwegian Tiril Eckhoff who is the most successful Olympic biathlete currently competing. She won gold in the Mixed Relay in Sochi in 2014, while she was a silver medallist in the same event four years ago. She also has three Olympic bronze medals to her name. Her World Championship form in 2021 was stunning – she took gold in all events aside from the Mass start, where she won the bronze, and will be a heavy favourite in February.
Elsewhere, 2018 Individual gold medallist Hanna Oberg will also be in the mix, as will 2018 Sprint silver medallist Marte Olsbu Roeiseland. Laura Dahlmeier, a double gold medallist in PyeongChang, has retired since 2018, opening up the field even further.
Sweden looking strong
In terms of the Relay events, Sweden were the winners in 2018 in the Men’s event, with Norway second, and Germany third. This year, the Norwegian team look strong with the aforementioned Thingnes Boe being joined by Sturla Holm Laegreid, who won four gold medals at the 2021 World Championships.
The Women’s Relay event was won in 2018 by Belarus, with team member Dzinara Alimbekava currently third in the World Cup standings. Hanna Oberg’s Sweden finished second and France were third, and those nations are likely to be challenging for medals once more.