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Otepää has been chosen to host the 2027 World Championships!

At the 15th Ordinary IBU Congress in Salzburg (Austria), Otepää was elected as the host of the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2027. Another candidate was the Kontiolahti competition centre in Finland.

“We knew that our chances for hosting the World Championships were very good. We felt confident due to the previous successful events we had organised, particularly the historic World Cup Stage in February this year, which has been recognised by the IBU, athletes and the public. I believe this tipped the scales in our favour,” Aivar Nigol, the OC President, said. “Now we have about five years to prepare for the title competition. Our organising team will also have a good opportunity to improve their skills with the organization of the Junior World Championships in 2024 and the World Cup in 2026 to be held in Otepää,” Nigol added.

Estonian biathlete Johanna Talihärm at the BMW IBU World Cup Otepää in March 2022. Photo: Hendrik Osula.

According to Nigol, having a high-quality competition centre was equally important for success. “In recent years, the Tehvandi Sports Centre has made several necessary investments to be able to successfully organise high-level biathlon competitions. As the volumes of the World Championships are significantly larger, the centre needs some further improvements before the major competition,” the OC President explained.

According to Tarmo Kärsna, President of the Estonian Biathlon Federation, being awarded with the right to organise the 2027 World Championships indicates the high level of competitions previously organised by the team. “The organization of title competitions and welcoming the world's top biathletes in Estonia increases the popularity of the sport and is a good motivator for young Estonian athletes. I believe that already in 2027, we will see in Otepää the athletes who are in junior or youth class today,” Kärsna said.

According to Tarvi Pürn, Ministry of Culture Vice Chancellor for Sports, winning the right to organise one of the most attractive events in winter sports is a great recognition for both the Estonian Biathlon Federation and the Tehvandi Sports Centre. “By organising increasingly important competitions, the Estonian Biathlon Federation has gradually become one of the strongest organising teams in the world and the trust in our team has grown among the international community. You could see and hear it at the congress. For the Ministry of Culture, organising major international competitions has been a priority for a long time. This makes a great contribution to the goals of both sports and tourism strategy,” Pürn said.

The presentation and exhibition of the delegation of the Otepää Organizing Committee were prepared with the help from the La Ecwador agency, Enterprise and Innovation SA, Visit Estonia and Estonian Public Broadcasting.


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