Opinion: 2019 IBU Open European Championships will help Raubichi raise its international profile

On 18-24 February, Raubichi sport center will host the IBU Open European Championships

Raubichi sport center is an excellent venue for biathlon events and the upcoming IBU Open European Championships will help the center raise its international profile, Olympic biathlon champion Alexander Popov told BelTA at the Snezhny Snaiper (Snow Sniper) biathlon competition among children and teenagers.

On 18-24 February, Raubichi sport center will host the IBU Open European Championships. “It is great that the Raubichi sport center continues the traditions started in the Soviet Union. Back then the center hosted European and world championships and made a name for itself as one of the world's major sport centers. We hope that, thanks to the efforts of Belarus Biathlon Federation, Raubichi will welcome more world championships and cups. Hosting the 2019 IBU Open European Championships, good feedback from teams will help secure this goal,” Alexander Popov said.

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has already announced that Raubichi sport center will host the seventh leg of the World Cup 2021/2022.

Now the center is gearing up to host 317 biathletes from 34 countries . “The World Cups and the IBU Cup are currently underway. Two cups will be held in Canada and the USA. Not all the leading athletes are planning to go to another continent. We expect to see many strong athletes in Raubichi. So the competition will be tough,” Alexander Popov said. “I think Belarus will be represented by the national team. As far as I know, Russia will also field its national team,” he added.

The Olympic champion said the Belarusian team did well at the recent World Cups. “The team work well, although not without mistakes. As they gain more experience they will do much better. We must understand that the Belarusian team do not have a lot of substitute athletes. Indeed, the team has some new young athletes who need time to adapt. Irina Krivko shows particularly good results: she has performed well the whole season and is in the top ten in overall rankings. I hope the other athletes will catch up with her,” Alexander Popov added.

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