After a long absence, it’s time to revive this website. I had always hoped to get back into posting biathlon statistics – if I found a way to automate the process more. Setting that up, however, seemed like a daunting task that would require a whole lot of time and work. So when I found myself stuck at home during the pandemic in the spring, I thought why not give this a try, especially since I had become much more experienced with programming and now had a background in computer science.
After countless hours and lots of work, the new and improved real biathlon website is finally ready for the upcoming season. Some of the more interesting features I came up with:
- Athlete data for all available stats categories, including comparisons between athletes
- Team results and statistics for all nations, including mixed or combined teams and team comparisons
- Aggregate data for every season, every World Cup trimester, every championship and every single World Cup (e.g. men’s skiing stats for Antholz 2020 WCH or women’s shooting times of the 2019–20 season)
- Skiing, shooting, range and loop times, as well as charts, for every race since 2001–02 (absolute or relative to specific athlete)
- Charts showing the progress during a race/split times (absolute or relative to specific athlete)
- Shooting intervals and patterns of all races since 2016–17
- World Cup score tables and charts for every World Cup globe ever
- All-time records for athletes and teams, at World Cup, World Championship or Olympic level (for every discipline), plus World Cup titles
The first hurdle was building an entirely new biathlon database, compiling all Biathlon World Cup data I could get my hands on. It turned into a much bigger project than I had anticipated, primarily because of the many inconsistencies in official data from the International Biathlon Union (IBU), which made it a real nightmare to get consistent results.
Eventually, I managed to merge all relevant IBU results with data from secondary sources (specifically the SQLite database of the Run&Shoot App, developed by Vladimir Filatov, as well as results on different editions of Wikipedia). While some data errors undoubtedly remain (that’s almost unavoidable with a data set of this size: 2199 top-level races featuring 3342 different athletes), I have collected quite reliable data for:
- Every World Championship and Olympic race (since 1958)
- Results for every World Cup race since the very first season in 1977–78 (albeit only partial results for some of the early seasons, but every podium finisher ever)
- Shooting results since the 1980s
- Skiing and shooting times since 2001–02
- Split times/shooting intervals since 2016–17
Making the collected data available online was another big challenge. I’m not a web developer, so this website won’t win any design awards, but I did my best to make it as easy to use as possible; the main focus however was functionality. Special thanks to the members of our forum who helped with testing.
Keeping my fingers crossed that the 2020–21 Biathlon World Cup season will go ahead as planned, I’ll try my best to update all data as quickly as possible after each race. I hope that you will find this new website useful and full of interesting information, and you will enjoy exploring its features and statistics during the upcoming biathlon winter.