The Contribution From Cross-Country Skiing and Shooting Variables on Performance-Level and Sex Differences in Biathlon World Cup Individual Races

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD $107.00

1 year subscription

USD $142.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD $203.00

2 year subscription

USD $265.00

Biathlon is an Olympic winter sport that combines rifle shooting and cross-country skiing in various race formats. In the individual distance (15 km for women and 20 km for men), athletes compete over 5 laps of skiing with shooting between each 2 laps (ie, 4 shootings). The aim of the current study was to compare total race time differences, as well as the contribution from cross-country skiing and shooting variables to this difference, between biathletes of different performance levels and sexes in individual races in the Biathlon World Cup. Based on the publicly available race reports, the authors compared these factors between top-10 results (G1–10) and results within rank 21–30 (G21–30), as well as the corresponding sex differences. G21–30 among men/women were on average 4%/6% behind G1–10 in total race time, in which course time accounted for 42%/54% of the overall performance difference, followed by 53%/44% explained by penalty time caused by shooting performance (ie, the number of hits). The remaining 2–3% was explained by differences in shooting time and range time. Women G1–10 were on average 15% slower in skiing speed than men G1–10, which accounted for 92% of the overall performance difference between sexes. In total, among G1–10, men shot on average 15 s faster than women, and total penalty time was 18 s shorter. In conclusion, course time and penalty time contributed approximately equally to the performance-level differences, whereas course time explained above 90% of the sex differences in individual World Cup biathlon races.

The authors are with the Dept of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Center for Elite Sports Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Sandbakk (Oyvind.sandbakk@ntnu.no) is corresponding author.
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Article Sections
References
  • 1.

    Luchsinger HKocbach JEttema GSandbakk Ø. Comparison of the effects of performance level and sex on sprint performance in the Biathlon World Cup. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(3):360366. doi:10.1123/ijspp.2017-0112

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Cholewa JGerasimuk DSzepelawy MZając A. Analysis of structure of the biathlon runs. Acta Gymnica. 2005;35(1):3542.

  • 3.

    Goldschmied NKowalczyk J. Gender performance in the NCAA rifle championships: where is the gap? Sex Roles. 2016;74(7–8):310322. doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0436-y

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Skattebo ØLosnegard T. Variability, predictability, and race factors affecting performance in elite biathlon. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(3):313319. PubMed ID: 28657807 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2017-0090

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Rundell KWBacharach DW. Physiological characteristics and performance of top U.S. biathletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995;27(9):13021310. PubMed ID: 8531629 doi:10.1249/00005768-199509000-00010

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Kemnitz CPJohnson RFMerullo DJRice VJ. Relation of rifle stock length and weight to military rifle marksmanship performance by men and women. Percept Mot Skills. 2001;93(2):479485. PubMed ID: 11769906 doi:10.2466/pms.2001.93.2.479

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Harris CRJenkins MGlaser D. Gender differences in risk assessment: why do women take fewer risks than men? Judgm Decis Mak J. 2006;1(1):4863.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Losnegard TKjeldsen KSkattebo Ø. An analysis of the pacing strategies adopted by elite cross-country skiers. J Strength Cond Res. 2016;30(11):32563260. PubMed ID: 26982973 doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001424

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Sandbakk ØEttema GHolmberg HC. Gender differences in endurance performance by elite cross-country skiers are influenced by the contribution from poling. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014;24(1):2833. PubMed ID: 22621157 doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.2012.01482.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Bolger CMKocbach JHegge AMSandbakk Ø. Speed and heart-rate profiles in skating and classical cross-country-skiing competitions. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2015;10(5):873880. doi:10.1123/ijspp.2014-0335

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Sandbakk ØSolli GSHolmberg HC. Sex differences in world-record performance: the influence of sport discipline and competition duration. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(1):28. PubMed ID: 28488921 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2017-0196

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Trubee NWVanderburgh PMDiestelkamp WSJackson KJ. Effects of heat stress and sex on pacing in marathon runners. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(6):16731678. PubMed ID: 24149746 doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000295

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Haugen TPaulsen GSeiler SSandbakk Ø. New records in human power. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(6):678686. PubMed ID: 28872385 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2017-0441

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Angehrn NRust CANikolaidis PTRosemann TKnechtle B. Positive pacing in elite ironman triathletes. Chin J Physiol. 2016;59(6):305314. PubMed ID: 27817192 doi:10.4077/CJP.2016.BAE418

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Article Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 67 67 28
Full Text Views 2 2 2
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
Altmetric Badge
PubMed
Google Scholar