Biathlon season ’22-’23

by Alain Chivilò
© Alain Chivilò

After having constantly followed the seasons of the Biathlon World Cup, a small section dedicated to the 2022 – 2023 edition becomes almost mandatory.

Some personal notes, remaining in a general reasoning. During the various stages, a different approach was highlighted compared to previous years between shooting precision – in the two canonical positions prone and standing – and free skate, free technique, thus leveling the values. During the different stages it has not never been a superiority in skate to make up for some shooting misses, or to consolidate the top. Elvira Öberg, in very strong finals the previous year, also failed to repeat herself. Balance has always been present in almost every race.

The constant performance allowed Julia Simon and Johannes Thingnes Bø to win the Crystal Globe in the overall, consolidating the victories during the season.

In Oberhof, Johannes Thingnes Bø won 5 gold medals at the world championships, while the first gold in the women’s relay for Italy came with Samuela Comola, Dorothea Wierer, Hannah Auchentaller, Lisa Vittozzi.

The season represented, probably, the boundary between those who continue, setting themselves the goal of the Milano Cortina 2026 Olympics and those who have decided to end. Thus said goodbye two strengths of Norway Tiril Eckhoff never present in the season due to physical troubles and Marte Olsbu Røiseland, for Germany Denise Herrmann-Wick and Vanessa Hinz, for France Anais Chevalier-Bouchet, for Finland Mari Eder.

The next future?

Among women: Italy, strange to say and write, could have a role of super favorite between Lisa Vittozzi and Dorothea Wierer. The first, after countless technical consultants, seems to be on the right track on snow, while the second has shown that she is there, although on the occasion of the Italian nomination for the Olympic Games she indicated that perhaps she would not arrive at the appointment. France could confirm Julia Simon but at the same time find other athletes. Sweden with Hanna Öberg and sister could be rivals to be feared and respected. Norway will be all to be discovered in a Milano-Cortina perspective. With Russia and Belarus out at the moment, for political and military reasons, some new confirmations or surprises from Austria with Lisa Theresa Hauser and the Czech Republic with Markéta Davidová. Germany will also have to verify its status in an Olympic point of view.

Among men: Johannes Thingnes Bø against all, i.e. against his teammates from Norway and France led by Quentin Fillon Maillet after a season of ups and downs. We do not forget Sweden which could shine again. For Italy, Tommaso Giacomel could provide interesting topics just a breath away from the under 25 crystal cup (-16 points), while Germany has the same reasoning as for women.

The images from Holmenkollen pay partial tribute to the season, with a mention to the Azzurre in Oberhof.

Further insights during the 2023 – 2024 season in some stages on the calendar, after having seen the trends between women and men.


by Alain Chivilò

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