What is biathlon?
Biathlon can rightly be called one of the most popular winter sports. In fact, this is one of the varieties of ski dibers, but, anyway, biathlon is considered an independent sport. Let's look at what biathlon is, and what kinds of races exist in this sport.
The history of biathlon
Biathlon is a Greek word that can literally be translated as a double match or fight. Today, the word “biathlon” is more commonly used, which means combining two disciplines in one sport. In this case, it’s skiing and rifle shooting.
Biathlon is most common in countries with a harsh climate: in Russia, Sweden, Finland and Norway. But since the end of the 20th century, Germany, Austria and Ukraine have actively participated in the biathlon competitions.
It is believed that biathlon originated as a competition of military patrols. Including in the Soviet Red Army in the 20s of the last century, biathlon was very popular. The exact year of the creation of biathlon is difficult to select, but the date of the first competitions in this sport is known.It is believed that for the first time official biathlon competitions were held in the winter of 1767 in Norway. It was at this time that the basic rules of biathlon were declared, which have changed a lot today. So, initially, the winners were those skiers who could, after skiing down a steep slope on skis, hit the mark with a gun. Only two best athletes were awarded. But biathlon began to develop actively only from the middle of the 20th century, after the end of the Great Patriotic War.
Today, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) is engaged in the development of biathlon, and in the Russian Federation - the Russian Biathlon Union, established in 1992. Biathlon is also included in the winter sports program.
If lovers of this sport ask what biathlon is, then for sure most of them will start talking about the ski race, accompanied by a stop at firing lines. And this is truly true.
Athletes start at the referee's command. In some disciplines, participants start a race at the same time, in others - in a certain order. After passing a certain distance, which includes both direct ski runs and descents with ascents, the competitor approaches the firing line, where he will have to hit 5 targets.If an athlete misses, he runs on the penalty loop, gets a penalty time, or must use extra ammo. All these nuances depend on the type of race. During the race itself, participants are forbidden to cut, skip penalties and have any physical impact on rivals. In addition, you can not shoot at someone else's targets. The winner of the biathlon race is the participant who showed the best time, taking into account the blunders in the firing position.
Types of biathlon races
When answering the question, what is biathlon, it is important to consider the types of races, because the mechanics of competitions completely depend on them.
- Sprint. This is the very first stage in any biathlon competitions. It is he who determines the position and bonuses for all other disciplines. In this discipline, men run 10 km, and women 7.5. During the race, the participants will have to overcome two firing lines - one standing, the other lying down. If a biathlete receives penalty points, then he goes to the penalty circle, 150 m long. In this race, the participants run in turns, so the last athletes will already know the results of the first.
- Pursuit.In this kind of biathlon race, the participants start in the order in which they finished the sprint. So, the winner starts the race first, the rest start with a delay equal to the time they lost to him. The pursuit race is 12.5 km for men and 10 km for women, where they have to go through 4 firing lines - 2 in the prone position and 2 in the standing position.
- Mass start. In this type of racing, all participants start at the same time. It is noteworthy that in the mass start only 30 best athletes are rated for the current year. The distance in this type of race is 15 km for men and 12.5 for women. And for every mistake the athlete goes to the penalty loop.
- Individual race. This is the biggest race in biathlon. The distance is 20 km for men and 15 for women, with 4 firing lines. It is remarkable that for each mistake the athlete gets 1 penalty minute.
- Relay race. Each country puts on the race for the top 4 athlete. Each of them passes its stage in 7, 5 km and 2 firing lines. It is important that if the athlete misses, he can use additional cartridges (3 pieces) that need to be charged manually. The winner is the country that showed the best team time.
Types of biathlon
In addition to the classic type of this biathlon, in which athletes are equipped with skis, ski poles and a pneumatic gun, there are also alternative forms of this sport:
- Archery-Biathlon - ski race, combined with archery;
- Steam biathlon rides - snow shoe races and rifle shooting;
- Hunting biathlon - a race on hunting skis and shooting from a hunting rifle;
- Summer biathlon - running or roller skiing and rifle shooting.
I hope you now know what biathlon is, where this sport came from, and what kinds of biathlon are there. Biathlon racing is a very exciting activity, which is why more and more fans of this sport appear in the world today.
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