Since I’ve been neglecting biathlon a bit lately, I figured I owed everyone a biathlon post, particularly given the shocking 5th place finish the other day by Susan Dunklee.
So here is some historical data on how the US and Canada have performed at WBCs over the years. First, measured by finishing place:
The blue line tracks the median, so it’s sort of a measure of overall team performance. Also interesting is to look at how the best and worst results have trended over the years. For instance, for the US women, you see their median remaining mostly flat overall, with some modest improvements lately. But their best result generally got worse through the late 90’s, and then has improved dramatically (with some notable exceptions in the middle there).
To go along with that, we have a historical look at overall, team shooting performance at WBCs over the years:
So how did the North Americans do at World Biathlon Championships this year? There definitely some strong results, but here’s some context:
These are the Canadian and American biathlon performances at WBCs and OWGs measured by standardized percent behind the median skier. The blue line tracks the median over time. The Canadian men had some very impressive performances on their home soil last year at the Olympics, but that was fairly unusual and things mostly returned to normal this year.
The US men have sort of been up and down, at least judging by their median performance. However, we should note that they had 4 results better than 1 standard deviation away from the mean this year, the most they’ve ever had in a single championship.
As for shooting, it occurred to me that since the conditions were so windy for some of these races that it might be more instructive to look at a relative measure of shooting: Read more