So what is the Single Mixed Relay about? It’s a new discipline to biathlon, which originated at successful exhibition events such as those in Schalke or Moscow.
Single Mixed Relay will open the programme of weekend’s World Cup racing in Nové Město na Moravě on Friday 6th February at 15:10.
The race is started as typical Relay in mass start format (This year all mass start events start in three corridors with 10 athletes lined one after another in each. Skating is newly allowed straight from the start.) The leg is raced by women.
The entire race is on skied on one track. The opening leg by women takes two loops with two shootings – prone and standing. The first handover is straight after the second shooting (or after penalty laps are completed. Penalty laps are half the distance compared to classic events). The 2nd leg is then raced by men. It has exactly the same format as the first leg of women with handover again straight after second shooting. Now women race for second time, identical format as the opening leg with again handing over to men. It needs to be the same woman who raced the opening leg. After the handover the last leg of the event starts – raced by men. They again have to do two shootings - prone and standing – by after the 2nd shooting the men have to complete one more lap before heading to the finish. The event takes in total 4 laps for women and 5 laps for men.
The Single Mixed Relay is raced over a lap that is 1.5 kilometres long. The total length of the race for women is 6 km (4 laps) and for men 7.5 km (5 laps).
As described above, a relay team includes one man and one woman, who take turns while racing. It is worth noting that all athletes who do the Single Mixed Relay are not allowed to start in the Mixed Relay later in the evening.
The biggest drama in the race will undoubtedly take place in the stadium. When you carefully study the track, you will see that the athletes go back into the stadium after every shooting – for a handover or to continue into the next lap. From the grandstands you can watch all athletes warm-up in the waiting zone while waiting for the handover.