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Trends In Race Times: Biathlon

I haven’t posted anything looking at biathlon for a while, so…

Since biathlon has had much more consistent race formats over the years and since we don’t need to split up the data by technique, we should be able to get a clearer picture of any trends on the gun-happy side of things.

The graph below is too small to see.  You’ll have to click through for the full version, which ought to be fairly self-explanatory.

These are the top 10 times in each major race.  We can clearly see that race times have been falling.  In fact, if you look closely you’ll see that times have dropped quite a lot in some cases.

Some other things we can note: the mass start races, true to form, seem a bit slow for the distance, particularly for the women.  It’s so strange that people find it so hard (psychologically) to press the pace in a mass start race…

You can’t really see it in the sprint races, but the rest display a leveling of the time trends followed by an second dip.  The individual races seemed to plateau a bit between 1998-2003 while the mass start races appear to exhibit a similar trend between 2003-2007.  It could just be a fluke, I suppose.  In any case, I can’t think of any explanation for it at all.

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