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(bīăth`lŏn), sport in which cross-country skiers race across hilly terrain, occasionally stopping to shoot, prone or standing as required, with rifles at sets of fixed targets. The biathlon features the 10-km (6.2-mi) sprint, in which contestants shoot at two sets of targets; the 12.5-km (7.8-mi) pursuit, in which contestants shoot four times and start at intervals determined by their finish in the sprint; the 20-km (12.5-mi) race with four shooting stops; a 30 contestant, 15-km (9.3-mi) mass start race with four shooting stops; and a relay race with four 7.5-km (4.7-mi) legs and two shooting stops per leg. The women's races are shorter: a 7.5-km (4.7-mi) sprint, a 10-km (6.2-mi) pursuit, a 15-km (9.3-mi) race, a 12.5-km (7.8-mi) mass start race, and a relay with 6-km (3.7-mi) legs. In the mixed relay, two women and then two men ski a leg of the appropriate length. Competitors are penalized for each missed target by having a standard length added to the course distance that they must complete, or by having a minute added to their time. The control of fine motor skills and breathing required to shoot after the skiing segment makes this a demanding sport. Biathlon competition developed from the military training of ski troops. The sport first became an official part of the Winter Olympics in 1960. Biathlon has also recently acquired meaning as applied to a combined two-sport competition, such as running and swimming.



a modern winter two-event competition—ski racing with riflery. While covering a distance of 20 km, the athlete makes five shots each at four firing ranges between the fifth and 18th kilometers: twice at a target 30 cm in diameter (while upright) and twice at a target 15 cm in diameter (while prostrate). The distance to the targets is 150 m. For each miss there is a penalty of two minutes, which are added to the time shown in the ski race. In 1960 the biathlon was incorporated into the program of the winter Olympic games. The winners of the Olympic games have been K. Lestander, a Swede (1960, Squaw Valley), Soviet athlete V. Melan’in (1964, Innsbruck), and M. Solberg (1968,Grenoble). At the Xth Olympics (1968, Grenoble) the 4 × 7.5-km relay was won by the team of Soviet biathlonists (A. Tikhonov, N. Puzanov, V. Mamatov, and V.Gundartsev). Among Soviet athletes, world champions in the biathlon have been V. Melan’in (1959), V. Mamatov (1967), A. Tikhonov (1969), and A. Ushakov (juniors, 1969). In the world championship (1969) the 4 × 7.5-km relay was won by Soviet athletes A. Tikhonov, V. Mamatov, V. Gundartsev, and R. Safin, and the 3 x 7.5-km relay was won by Soviet juniors V. Tolkachev, A. Tagirov, and A. Ushakov.

References in periodicals archive ?
Amanda Lightfoot competing in the Women's 15km Individual Biathlon yesterday
Double Olympic winner in biathlon, Anastasia Kuzmina, is showing good form this season," said ubomir Souek, the media manager of the Slovak Olympic Committee.
5km mass start biathlon and the women's 4x6km relay event to the Athlete.
The Tank Biathlon competition is an international event conducted as part of the International Army Games, which is held every year since 2013 at Russia's Alabino Ranges.
A traditional cadet biathlon championship is composed of four different outdoor races: the mass start, the relay, the patrol and the team sprint.
Merchant Taylors Biathlon and (inset) Cross Country teams
Teams will participate in 14 military contests, which, along with the Tank Biathlon, will include competitions for military engineers, pilots and drivers, air defense specialists, sappers, paratroopers, military chemists, artillery crews, and even army cooks.
The delegation visited the sites proposed for the Nordic and the Biathlon Centres, a truly unique location at the foot of the Great Wall which will provide a stunning backdrop for the Games spectators and millions of fans worldwide watching the broadcast of the Games.
A PROMISING young talent is hoping to be a class act at the UK Schools Modern Biathlon Championship at the London Olympic Park.
PRINCETHORPE College Year 9 pupil Mollie Dibb has won the West Midlands Regional Biathlon Championships for the second consecutive year.
Kyrgyz military today headed to Moscow's suburb of Alabino to participate in the World Championship of Tank Biathlon, the Ministry of Defense said.
5-kilometer biathlon, along with the 10K and 15K cross country races in the sit-ski division in Utah and it helped him move up the ranking list to secure a spot on the U.