Super Sprints: Just a few quick thoughts as we wrap up Oestersund and move towards Oslo.
1)Globe Watch – With three races to go the Overall Crystal Globes appear to be pretty much wrapped up. The men’s in fact is completely over as Johannes Thingnes Boe secured the Overall Globe last weekend without even having to race. That’s what happens when you’ve won 16 races in a season. The women’s isn’t quite secured but Julia Simon is in strong position. Dorothea Wierer would need to earn at least 48 points more per race than Simon to win her 3rd Overall Globe. That is certainly possible with 2 scenarios:
- Wierer wins every race and Simon finishes 6th or worse in every race
- Simon absolutely bombs the Sprint and earns little to no points and she struggles to work her way back up in the Pursuit. Meanwhile Wierer finds the podium in each race.
Those are possible but I certainly wouldn’t bet on them. Julia Simon showed last weekend that she’s recovered well from COVID. She was 4th in the Individual and 1 shot away from victor in the Mass Start, finishing 3rd. Simon has been strong from start to finish this season. I find it hard to be believe that Simon will totally crumble. But not over!
However, we haven’t paid as much attention to the Blue Jersey competition. On the women’s side Elvira Oeberg is ahead by 220 points and has the u25 crown for the season. It is easy to forget at this point as she hasn’t looked like herself since Ruhpolding, but at that point when her season started to go south, she was within striking distance of Julia Simon for the Overall title. It wasn’t her ultimate goal at the start of the season but a it is a victory that she should celebrate regardless. Meanwhile here is the current Under 25 leaderboard for the women:
Those are just the women that have more than 100 points. It confirms pretty much how we’ve been feeling about the young women this season. Elvira Oeberg the dominant force, but very strong years from the young French women Lou Jeanmonnot and Sophia Chauveau. Lou Jeanmonnot in particular has established herself as a threat to get into the top 10 if not the podium every single weekend. Further down it is no surprise to see Baserga, the young Italians Comola and Passler, and Gandler all having consistently strong seasons.
On the Men’s side two time winner Sturla Holm Laegreid has graduated out leaving room for a new champion. It’s going to be a battle to the very finish for the Blue Bib winner on the men’s side. Here are the current standings:
|Filip Fjeld Andersen||322|
That clearly is a race that is going to go down to the wire. Just 31 points separating the two leaders. Whomever comes out on top is going to earn it. It also bodes well for the future of biathlon. The top scoring u25 man generally develops into one of the top competitors on the World Cup. Going back to 2005 every man who has been the winner of the u25 competition has subsequently won the Overall Crystal Globe later in their career. To look at more recent examples I pulled the winners since JT Boe last was the highest scoring u25 in the 2017-2018 season. Since then these are the top two of the u25 competition:
|Year||First Place||Second Place|
|2018-2019||Sebastian Samuelsson||Emilien Jacquelin|
|2019-2020||Emilien Jacquelin||Johannes Dale|
|2020-2021||Sturla Holm Laegreid||Johannes Dale|
|2021-2022||Sturla Holm Laegreid||Sebastian Samuelsson|
Fair to say that so far each of those men, especially the three who have won it, have shown the ability to win the Overall Globe. Regardless of who comes out on top, Giacomel or Hartweg, having such bright young talent from Italy and Switzerland is great news for the IBU and biathlon fans!
2) Get a Podium – As we head to Oslo we have just 3 more men’s races and 3 more women’s races. I wrote an Last Shots at Glory…This Year before Nove Mesto about who I want to see get a podium before the end of the year. With the season compressed to one last weekend my list has gotten dramatically shorter. Not because I want don’t want to see everybody succeed but because of the press of time. Without going longer here are my hopes and dreams for the last 3 races of the 2022-2023 season
- Women’s Sprint:
🥇: Denise Herrmann-Wick 🥈: Marte Olsbu Roeiseland 🥉: Marketa Davidova
- Women’s Pursuit:
🥇: Marte Olsbu Roeiseland 🥈: Lisa Theresa Hauser 🥉: Vanessa Voigt
- Women’s Mass Start:
🥇: Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold 🥈: Marte Olsbu Roeiseland 🥉: Emma Lunder
- Men’s Sprint:
🥇: Johannes Thingnes Boe 🥈: Quinton Fillon Maillet 🥉: Tarjei Boe
- Men’s Pursuit:
🥇: Tarjei Boe 🥈: Niklas Hartweg 🥉: Tommaso Giacomel
- Men’s Mass Start:
🥇: Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen 🥈: Michal Krcmar 🥉: Sebastian Stalder
- Random Hopes – Not for the podium but just for some good races
– Simon Eder top 5
– Kebinger top 5
– Anna Gandler gets her top 10
3) Junior Worlds Representation: The Junior Worlds were a phenomenal moment for the world of biathlon. 15 different nations were represented on the podium for either Youth or Junior medals. Last year there were 11 different nations on the podium. The IBU is working so hard to expand the biathlon world and this was a great step towards that. Yes only two nations outside of Europe made the podium but you have to start somewhere.
|Norway (17)||🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇 + 🥈🥈🥈 + 🥉🥉🥉🥉🥉🥉🥉🥉🥉|
|Germany (15)||🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇 + 🥈🥈🥈🥈🥈🥈|
|France (6)||🥈🥈🥈🥈🥈 + 🥉|
|Italy (3)||🥈 + 🥉🥉|
|Croatia (2)||🥈 + 🥉|
|Czech Republic (1)||🥇|
|New Zealand (1)||🥇|
|United States (1)||🥉|