Latvian women’s and men’s biathlon teams will participate in the World Championship relay competition today in Pokļuka. The women’s 4 × 6 kilometer relay will start at 12.45, it will be broadcast live on Latvian Television Channel 7.
The Latvian national team will go on the track from eighth row and will have the last number among the 23 participants. It is planned that Latvia will start in the following order – Sanita Buliņa, Annija Keita Sabule, Inese Golubeva and Baiba Bendika. Last season, Latvian biathletes returned to the World Championships after an eight-year break. Latvia remained in the penultimate competition of 24 teams, already in the second stage being overtaken by a circle. Last year, the Latvian national team was represented by Jūlija Matvijenko, Sanita Buliņa, Bendika and Ieva Pūce, but the last two of them did not perform in their stages. In the World Championships, the best result for Latvia is two 20th places, but in the World Cup – the tenth position won in Oberhof in 2007/2008, which was taken care of by Madara Līduma, Gerda Krūmiņa, Žanna Juškāne and Līga Glāzere-Spalviņa.
For men, the 4 × 7.5 kilometer relay will start at 16, and it will also be possible to watch it on LTV7. In the men’s competition, Latvia will also start with the 23rd number from the penultimate, eighth row. 27 quartets have applied for the relay. The first stage in the Latvian national team is dedicated to Aleksandrs Patrijuks, the second to Edgars Mises, the third to Robert Slotiņš, and the fourth – to the leading domestic biathlete Andrejs Rastorgujevs. This season Latvia has participated in four relays. In the first two, the Latvians were overtaken by a circle, taking the 22nd and 25th place, but in the next two they managed to reach the finish, where they took the 20th and 21st position. In the last three relays, Latvia has started in the same line-up as it intends to compete today.
The men of Latvia won their highest position in the World Cup relay in the distant 1999. when the fifth were the biathletes of the famous “great four” Oleg Maluhin, Ilmārs Bricis, Gundars Upenieks and Jēkabs Nākums. In the 2017/2018 season, Latvia won the tenth place in the World Cup stage in Hohfilzen, at that time the current head coach Bricis and Oskars Muižnieks started in the team without Rastorgujev and Patrijuk.
In the overall ranking of the World Cup for women, the leader with 205 points is Germany, further with 196 points is France, but the third place with 192 points is occupied by Germany. Sweden, Norway, Germany and Russia are winning this season. The men with 222 points are Norway, the winner of the first relay of the season, Norway, 192 with France, Russia and Russia with 179, 176 and 172 points, followed by Sweden with one success. 76 points give Latvia the 23rd place. At the end of the championship on Sunday there will be strength competitions with a common start. After the planetary championship, there will be two stages of the World Cup in Nove Mesto, but the end of the season is scheduled for the second half of March in Estesund.