February 22, 2021 Power Rankings

Time for the post World Championships Power Rankings! Quite a reshuffle from my prior rankings. That’s as it should be. These should be dynamic rankings with significantly more movement from week to week than the IBU World Cup standings.

A reminder on my ranking philosophy… Basically the way I think about it is that if there were a race today the person ranked #1 would be my favorite to win. If the person in slot 1 were removed from the race then #2 would become my favorite and so on. Of course its not perfect because somebody who might be the favorite in a Sprint might not be your favorite for an Individual race. I’m not going to get that specific. Fair warning these are almost entirely subjective. If you’ve got disagreements I want to hear about it! Without further ado..

Men’s Power Rankings:

1. JT Bø (Previous 1)
2. Sturla Hom Lægried (2)
At first blush I still think of JT Bø as being well ahead of the rest of the pack. His peak performance still is waaaay ahead of the rest of the pack. The problem is we have seen his peak form much less frequently than I would guess we all would have thought. After his Mass Start domination in Antholtz I thought he was about to lay the hammer to the field in Pokljuka. That didn’t happen and Lægried pretty clearly had the best overall performance at Worlds. And the separation between the two in the fight for the overall crystal globe is down to just 32 points. *Eye emoji*

3. Quintin Fillon Maillet (3)
QFM was very close to a very large hardware haul in Pokljuka with two 4th place finishes and a 6th to go with his Mass Start bronze medal. Not too far away from arguing he should be up a group more on par with Lægried and Bø as it is I feel very comfortable slotting him third.

4. Emilien Jacquelin (unranked)
5. Johannes Dale (6)
These two are very close. Dale more consistent over the entire week but Jacquelin with the gold medal. In this argument when you’re that close together the guy with the win gets the edge.

6. Martin Ponsiluoma (8)
7. Sebastien Samuelsson (unranked)
The two Swedes were very close for me. I felt like I had to put Ponsiluoma above Sebbe as he did have the win in the Sprint. Also Ponsiluoma has had a more steady year. On the other hand I feel like Samuelsson’s top end is ultimately higher than Ponsiluoma’s he just needs to keep proving it. I will say both had moments in Pokljuka but neither one really shone like those listed above. However Sweden did bring home a silver medal in the 4×7.5km Relay so they need to celebrate that!

8. Arnd Peiffer (7)
9. Simon Eder (unranked)
10. Simon Desthieux (unranked)
These three are going to be in contention more often than anybody else but a few things have to go right for them to get to the top of the leaderboard as you saw with each of them over the weekend. Eder actually had a more consistent World’s than Peiffer due to his exceptional shooting record but I think that it just takes more people having off days for him to get to the top of the podium. Peiffer gets the edge for his near win in the Individual. Desthieux is just much more boom bust. Silver in sprint and 5th in Pursuit but then fairly inconsequential the rest of the way.

Women’s Power Rankings:

1. Tiril Eckhoff (Previous 1)
Really is this even a debate? She was easily the dominant athlete in Pokljuka. She medaled in every race except for the Individual. Looking back a bit further and she had 3 wins in 6 total races in Oberhoff. Antholtz wasn’t quite as pretty but I want to repeat again: total dominance in Pokljuka. She’s easily #1 and on a plane of her own.

2. Lisa Theresa Hauser (2)
I took a very long time deciding who should be second because I didn’t want my personal favoritism to get in the way. I’ve been on the Hauser bandwagon for a long time and her breakthrough in 2021 has been one of my favorite sporting stories of the year. I honestly think that in a race Hauser has to be your #2 behind Tiril Eckhoff. If you only look at Pokljuka she was definitely the second best female athlete. If you look back to the entirety of 2021 she’s got 7 individual podiums with 2 wins. In the same period Eckhoff only had 6 podiums but 5 of those were wins. It’s closer than it looks but Eckhoff has the wins. Oh and congratulations to Lisa Theresa Hauser on her crystal for tying Dorothea Wierer in the Individual Race season standings!

3. Hanna Öberg (4)
4. Anaïs Chevalier-Bouchet (8)
5. Franziska Preuss (6)
6. Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (3)
I had an impossibly hard time trying to divide up these 4. During the last competitions including both Oberhoff weeks, Antholtz, and Pokljuka none of the four have a victory in an individual race. In that time Öberg has the most podiums with 4, Chevalier-Bouchet 3, Preuss and Roeiseland 1. Preuss’ average finish in Pokljuka was 6.5 and Roeiseland was 9.75 due to her 20th in Individual. Preuss has been significantly more consistent than Roeiseland for the last several weeks. Her average finish place since 2021 started is actually higher than Chevalier-Bouchet so if you want to argue Preuss should be 4th I won’t push back too much. Either way all 4 of these woman are right together in my book.

7. Dorothea Wierer (5)
8. Markéta Davidová (10)
These two I switched back and forth before settling here. I kept wanting to move Wierer down but at the end of the day the I just can’t imagine right now listing Davidová or Tandrevold ahead of her right now. She has a real lack of W’s since the beginning of the season but she’s also been consistently 4-6 since the calendar turned to 2021. Even though Davidová does have the Individual World Championship Wierer is just far too consistent and I can’t swap them yet.

9. Indrid Landmark Tandrevold (Unranked)
10. Julia Simon (Unranked)
Tandrevold had an absolutely terrific championships in Pokljuka with 2 podium finishes in Individual and Mass Start. Overall at World’s Tandrevold was significantly better than Simon. Simon does have the 2 recent Mass Start wins and the nails performance as the hammer leg of the Single Mixed Relay. Rank these two however you want but both are deserving of a top 10 right now.

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