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2024 BMW IBU World Championships Preview

by Joseph Bonacci

After two training weeks in Italy, the U.S. Biathlon Team is geared up for the 2024 BMW IBU World Championships in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic. The two week event features 12 different races, giving each athlete multiple opportunities for success and fans a taste of each biathlon discipline. Racing will kick off with the mixed relay on Wednesday, February 7. 


Looking back at past World Championship highlights, only a handful of U.S. athletes have personally experienced the feeling of winning a medal at the event, but Lowell Bailey, U.S. Biathlon Director of High Performance, is the sole U.S. athlete who has stood on top of the podium. Back in 2017, one of the last athletes to start the men’s 20km individual, Bailey had the race of his life, shooting a perfect 20 for 20, and clinching the gold medal by just 3.3 seconds.


Reflecting on his experience, Bailey said, “World Championships is the pinnacle of the season, but that doesn’t mean that an athlete should do something different from what they’ve done all season long. The key to success at the big events is not varying from what you have spent so much time training to do; all you have to do is go out and execute the skills you’ve already built.”  


The U.S. Biathlon Team has racked up impressive results, continuously improving throughout the season. Deedra Irwin (Pulaski, WI/Army World Class Athlete Program) has built up momentum from personal best results in the sprint and mass start events earlier this season in Lenzerheide, with her top ski speed and shooting accuracy proving to be a consistent piece of the puzzle in relays. Most recently, Irwin teamed up with Campbell Wright (Wanaka, NZL/U.S. Biathlon) to finish ninth place in the single-mixed relay in Antholz, Italy. 


Jackie Garso (Lake Clear, NY/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) will race in her first World Championships after achieving a World Cup personal best in Antholz, finishing 66th in the women’s short individual. Chloe Levins (Rutland, VT/Team Crosscut) is coming off one of her best race weeks, shooting a perfect 100% at the 2024 IBU Open European Championships in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia, and racing to a personal best 28th place in the women’s individual. 


Tara Geraghty-Moats (West Fairlee, VT/National Guard Biathlon) will race in her second biathlon World Championships after a strong individual performance at Open European Championships, achieving a season best result. Filling the World Championships spot left by Kelsey Dickinson (Winthrop, WA/Craftsbury Green Racing Project), who will take time to focus on health and recovery, Lina Farra (Heber City, UT/NYSEF) will also race her first IBU World Championships. 


Wright, racing in his third World Championships and first wearing red, white and blue, came out of the second trimester with a World Cup personal best 12th in the sprint and 17th in the pursuit in Ruhpolding, two of his three top results on the circuit. Vincent Bonacci (Salt Lake City, UT/Team Crosscut) had a standout performance at Open European Championships, skiing to sixth place, his second of the season, breaking up a Norwegian top-six sweep in the men’s individual. This will be Bonacci’s second World Championships appearance. 


With an individual 10th place finish at Open European Championships, placing two U.S. men in the top 10, Maxime Germain (Chamonix-Mont Blanc, FRA/National Guard Biathlon) is showing solid ski speed and shooting coming into his second World Championships. Sean Doherty (Center Conway, NH/National Guard Biathlon) leads the U.S. Biathlon Team in international racing experience, competing in his eighth World Championships. Rounding out the roster, Jake Brown (St. Paul, MN/Craftsbury Green Racing Project), racing in his fourth World Championships, currently holds the top World Championships result amongst this year’s U.S. Team heading into Nove Mesto. 


“I think Nove Mesto will be a special one for the team,” said Brown. “I think we’re ready to go!” 


It is guaranteed to be an exciting two weeks of racing, so be sure to tune in to the livestream, follow live results on the IBU app and follow along on social media. For all information on how to watch, visit usbiathlon.org/how-to-watch. For spectator information, visit usbiathlon.org/spectator-resources.


2024 BMW IBU World Championships - Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech Republic

February 7

Mixed Relay (M+W) 11:20 EST/ 5:20 CET

February 9

Women’s 7.5km Sprint 11:20 EST/ 5:20 CET

February 10

Men’s 10km Sprint 11:05 EST/ 5:05 CET

February 11

Women’s 10km Pursuit 8:30 EST/ 2:30 CET

Men’s 12.5km Pursuit 11:05 EST/ 5:05 CET

February 13

Women’s 15km Individual 11:10 EST/ 5:10 CET

February 14

Men’s 20km Individual 11:20 EST/ 5:20 CET

February 15

Single Mixed Relay (M+W) 12:00 EST/ 6:00 CET

February 17

Women’s 4x6km Relay 7:45 EST/ 1:45 CET

Men’s 4x7.5km Relay 10:30 EST/ 4:30 CET

February 18

Women’s 12.5km Mass Start 8:15 EST/ 2:15 CET

Men’s 15km Mass Start 10:30 EST/ 4:30 CET