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IBU Youth and Junior World Championships will bring 500 athletes to Otepää

From 23 February to 2 March 2024, Otepää will host the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships. Nearly 500 young biathletes from 38 countries will compete at Tehvandi Sports Center, supported by more than 300 team members.


The Tehvandi Sports Center hosted the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships for the first time in 2018. The Otepää Organizing Committee has previously organized the Open European Championships and in 2022, they were responsible for the BMW IBU World Cup. “For organizers, the Youth and Junior World Championships is even more difficult than the World Cup stage, because this event involves significantly more competition days and athletes,” said Hillar Zahkna, Chairman of the Competition Committee. 


Photo: Hendrik Osula

Despite the fact that many parts of Europe face snow problems this season, the conditions in Otepää are excellent and there is a sufficient supply of snow. “Tehvandi Sports Center is ready for the competitions, the tracks are all well prepared and the event will take place in any case,” Zahkna said. In total, 18 starts will be given over eight days of competitions in Otepää. The world champions will be crowned in mixed relay, individual, sprint, mass start and relay, and in both the Youth and Junior age classes.


At the same time with the World Championships, Otepää also hosts the Youth Mobility Week from 27 February to 1 March, during which you can participate in biathlon lessons, visit the Otepää Winter Sports Museum and Tehvandi ski jump tower. “It is important for us to attract more young people to engage in biathlon and winter sports in general,” said Aivar Nigol, Chairman of the Organizing Committee. Registration for biathlon lessons is open through Piletilevi, and there will be a special bus service that will take people from the Southern Estonian towns to Otepää. 


Piletilevi sells competition passes, weekend passes and day tickets, which will give you an access to the shooting range grandstand of the Youth and Junior World Championships. You can enjoy the competition by the track free of charge. 


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