The showpiece event of the biathlon season is upon us as the Olympics formally get under way today with the opening ceremonies. The waiting and preparation is now over, and the most highly anticipated competitions in four years get under way tomorrow with the Men’s Sprint.
The competition begins at 9:30 Eastern, 6:30 Pacific. The competition will be conducted under the lights, as the local time of the start is 18:30. All of the Olympic biathlon competitions will be done in the evening, a change from the Vancouver Olympics where they were all in the morning.
Canada’s Nathan Smith must surely be pumped up to be the first competitor out of the start gate in bib 1. The other North American competitors are Lowell Bailey (bib 26), Tim Burke (bib 43), Brendan Green (bib 51), JP Le Guellec (bib 65), Leif Nordgren (bib 73), Scott Perras (bib 78) and Russell Currier (bib 87). Here is the complete start list.
The heavy favourites in this competition are Martin Fourcade (bib 64) and Emil Hegle Svendsen (bib 29), but as this IBU preview of the competition notes there are many others who have a medal in their sights and could beat Fourcade and Svendsen to the top of the podium.