For the first time ever, the BMW IBU Biathlon World Cup stage will be held in Otepää from 10 to 13 March 2022, but it won't be the last world-class sports gathering in Estonia. The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has published the competition calendar for the following years, which includes several other major biathlon competitions going to be held in Estonia.
In March 2022, world's best biathletes will gather in Otepää for the four days of the World Cup stage, many of whom have previously won titles at both the Junior World Championships and the European Open Championships at Tehvandi Sports Center. The IBU entrusted Estonia with the organization of the IBU World Cup stage also for the year of 2026, when the IBU World Cup competition will take place in Otepää again.
In 2024, the world champions of youth and juniors will also be crowned at Tehvandi Sports Center. Once before, in 2018, the youth and junior world championships have already been organized in Otepää. The success of those championships paved the way for the organization of the World Cup stage. "Organizing every international competition is a big challenge, but today we can say that we are more ready for the World Cup than ever before and it has also been recognized by the International Biathlon Union," said Aivar Nigol, President of the Otepää BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon Organizing Committee.
In an interview to ERR, Borut Nunar, Director of IBU World Cup competitions, said that years ago Otepää was a very mediocre biathlon center and the organizing team started from scratch. Now, according to Nunar, we can talk about a very modern competition venue. "The words of the competition director confirm that we have developed the Tehvandi Sports Center into an A-licensed competition venue with very good facilities and opportunities for organizing international level competitions," said Nigol.
Haanja has confirmed its place in the IBU Junior Cup calendar for 2023, when the competition for juniors will be held there for the first time. Although the Junior Cup was supposed to reach Haanja already in 2021, due to the spread of COVID-19, all stages were canceled.
For the World Cup stage in Otepää, held from 10 to 13 March 2022, ticket sales will start a year earlier, on 4 March 2021. It is possible to purchase one-, two- and four-day tickets for the track, stadium seating area, shooting range grandstand or VIP grandstand. Discount applies to the first 1000 tickets sold.