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Biathlon Events at the 2014 Winter Olympics

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Modern Biathlon will have 11 events at this year’s Winter Olympics. Men’s and Women’s events are conducted separately, with the exception of the newest event, Mixed Relay. Mixed Relay uses teams composed of both women and men. Each event is scored by time, with the lowest time winning.

The first two events are the Sprints. Men’s Sprint will be contested on Feb. 8 and Women’s Sprint on Feb. 9. Men race 10 kilometers and women race 7.5 kilometers. The competitors will stop to shoot twice, once in the standing position and once in the prone position. In each case, they will shoot at five targets with no makeup shots allowed. For each target missed, the biathlete must ski a 150 meter penalty loop. This typical would take 20-30 seconds, which is then added to the competitor’s time.

The next events are the pursuits. Men’s pursuit will be held on Feb. 10 and Women’s on Feb. 11. Women will race 10 kilometers and men will have to go 12.5 kilometers. They will stop four times, to engage five targets each time, twice prone and twice standing. Once again no makeup shots are allowed. If an athlete misses a target, they must take a lap around the 150 meter penalty loop for every target missed.

The Olympians get a day off on Feb. 12 and then go to the Individual event. Men will do the Individual on Feb. 13 and Women on Feb. 14. In this event, women race 15 kilometers and men 20 kilometers. All competitors stop four times at the firing range and must hit all five targets with five rounds. For each target missed, one minute is added to their total time.

The Mass Start is an individual competition, which begin on Feb. 16 with Women’s and Men’s with taking place on Feb. 17. All the Olympians will start at the same time. Men race 15 kilometers and women race 12.5 kilometers. They have four shooting stage with five targets and only five rounds are allowed. For targets missed, the athletes take a lap around the 150 meter penalty loop for each miss.

The mixed relay is the most recent addition to the Olympic biathlon competition. It will happen on Feb. 18. In this event, the teams are composed of two women and two men. The women ski two laps and the men do two, shooting twice each.

The Relay events are the final events, beginning on Feb. 21 with the Women’s followed by the Men’s on Feb. 22. Each team member shoots twice during the relay. Three extra rounds are allowed to hit five targets at each shooting stage. For each target missed, the athlete must ski a lap around the 150 meter penalty loop.

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