Slovak men’s biathlon found itself in a deep crisis before the start of the new World Cup season. The Slovaks only have two adult competitors at their disposal, so they won’t be putting together a single relay.
The end of 32-year-old Tomáš Hasilla was predictable after ten demanding and unsuccessful seasons in the World Cup. Other departures, on the other hand, can be defined as surprising and, above all, premature. It is also fatal for contemporary men’s biathlon.
Twenty-three-year-old Lukáš Ottinger, 25-year-old Matej Baloga and one year older Šimon Bartko announced the end of their careers before next season.
“It was their decision, related to the fact that they didn’t get paid positions within Dukla. They had an offer of support from the union, but it wasn’t enough for them, so they decided to quit professional biathlon,” explained the president of the Slovak Biathlon Union, Peter Vozár.
In the new season, only Michal Šima and Tomáš Sklenárik are expected to start among the world’s elite.
He sent the Slovaks back twenty years, as the Sme.sk server noted in the title. Some disciplines are simply not filled.
He will certainly have to do without the men’s relay, and the mixed pairs race, which is usually run on the same day as the mixed fours, is also at risk.
There is a significant generation gap in the Slovakian team and promising young players who do not have enough qualification points cannot yet be used.
18-year-old Jakub Borgula in particular is a great hope for the future. This year he became world champion in the junior category, to which he added two more silvers. According to Slovak biathlon experts, he is not yet physically ready for the transition into adulthood.
If the Slovaks finished 20th in the Nations Cup last season, which was the worst result of the entire independent era, then the next one will most likely be even worse.
Although the Slovak FA first announced the demise of Czech and Fialkos men’s coach Tomáš Kos, the successful sisters subsequently negotiated a one-on-one partnership with him.