Press conference about the upcoming Youth and Junior World Championships

On Tuesday 12th June the press conference concerning the upcoming IBU Youth and Junior World Championships Biathlon 2019 Osrblie scheduled from 26th January to  3rd February was held in Banská Bystrica. The said conference was attended by the SBA president Tomáš Fusko, executive and organising committee president Ivor Lehoťan, youth coordinator and junior national team coach Milan Gašperčík, by the most successful youth athlete in season 2017/18 Tomáš Sklenárik and event ambassador Pavol Hurajt.


“We have started sharp preparation for the Junior World Championships, that are officially called IBU Youth and Junior World Championships Biathlon 2019 Osrblie. There is a small change in the name, because the former event name doesn´t contain any more the name Brezno. The point is that the junior world championships is coming in Osrblie after years 1994 and 2017 for the third time in history. Seeing that SBA and OC responded on the IBU requirement promptly last year, we organized the junior championships within one month after the championships in Russia had been cancelled. The third World Championships will be the original one, because they were delegated on us officially in 2016. It means, in 2017 we had an unscheduled overhaul. Now we would like to prepare WCH 2019 all the more carefully and precisely,” OC president Ivor Lehoťan informed.

He has announced at the same time, that the World championships will bring another name in comparison with last similar event organized in Osrble in 2017: “We have looked at how to compose the organizing committee anew, how to insert into it the whole region which is a great biathlon fan. We have modified the name of the event. There will be not any more “Brezno – Osrblie” in the event designation but only Osrblie. We returned to the name which had been used in 1994. Namely, the county town Banská Bystrica also entered into participation in the event. This town began to cooperate with us already in 2016, when it was a candidate for “European sport town”. The cooperation gradually expanded so much, that the Banská Bystrica Mayor Mr. Ján Nosko became an OC member,” he continued.

“Now is the organization of the WCH something more than it was up to now. We want prepare an excellent event, which could represent biathlon association, region and whole Slovakia well. In 2019 Slovakia is hoisting Hockey World Championships and IBU YJWCH Biathlon, i.e. the championships in two successful winter sports. We would like to bring pleasure to all sports and biathlon fans,” Lehoťan wishes himself.

A joyful news also is acquisition of forceful partners on the head with Vladimír Soták: “After twenty years we have again involved the company Železiarne Podbrezová a.s. – the biggest employer of region Horehronie – into our activities. The company belongs to organizer of this event historically. Mr. Vladimír Soták was the OC president also in 1997 and he returned after a certain pause now. It imbues us with joy, that we can lean on so strong person. In presidium are also Brezno Mayor Mr. Ábel, Banská Bystrica Mayor Mr. Ján Nosko, president of the Slovak Olympic Committee Mr. Siekel, director of the Military Sport Centre Dukla Mr. Roman Benčík and also Chairman of the BBSK (Self-governing region of Banská Bystrica) Mr. Ján Lunter. The OC presidium provides us with an “imaginary umbrella” and we with the more than twenty other members will be able to ensure all tasks and preparations of the event. The Slovak republic prime minister Mr. Peter Pelegríny took charge of patronage over the event,” OC president Ivor Lehoťan listed.

“At the same time we decided to accredit two our Olympic medallists as event ambassadors. It regards Pavol Hurajt and Anastasia Kuzminová. It is very important for development of the biathlon itself. We suppose, that these WCH will bring push-off of the new generation, which was represented by Tomáš Sklenárik on the press conference. This year he placed three times among top ten athletes within the last Youth world championships. We believe, that he will be successful also in Osrblie, where he will start among juniors for the first time. I believe, that we will prepare under coaching of Milan Gašperčík such team, which is able to be successful. The fans would like to see success of our biathletes directly “on the place” and we want to provide them with it,” Lehoťan was looking at our sport aspects.

At the same time the Slovak biathlon association also introduced a new branding and subdomain concerning WCH: “The new branding is prepared especially, that we can introduce it already before holiday. We have also a new logo and we have to put the finishing touches to it. The new logo will accompany us within whole preparations,” Lehoťan says.

President of the SBA Tomáš Fusko went on: “It is a graphic, with which (in cooperation with company Infront and IBU branding) the whole biathlon area will be sheathed and coated. It has to act uniformly. On the said branding are situated two biathletes´ figures and behind them is a grey background in diamond style. It will be unique and specific for the Biathlon centre in Osrblie. The event logo is composite one – in accordance with IBU Rules. There is the English name of the event in the logo. We don´t change organizing layout, we remain with the former logo from 1994 but the denomination “Biathlon Osrblie” has been added. We are just preparing the subdomain, where we will make public information concerning WCH.”

“The event timetable is approved definitely. It was about that the program should contain two weekends and not to end on Tuesday – like it happened within our last WCH. That´s why we applied requirement to end within weekend. We will begin with a festive opening ceremony on 26th January on the town square in Brezno and end with next weekend. The mentioned weekend will contain sprint and pursuit competitions. We are glad that we have managed to negotiate it such way,” Lehoťan appreciated it.

The budget is also fixed but it can be changed according to needs: “We will work with the budget of ca 180 thousands Euro. In this moment we know, that one part will come from IBU, what is an advantage for each organiser. We would like to speak to as much as possible marketing partners. We would like to infill our budget as soon as possible. It is to say, the event will require preparation of the technical snow already in December. The agreed date –  at the turn of January and February – is the most advantageous one. Osrblie will be prepared,” Lehoťan is reporting.

“The amount of 180 thousands is the minimum one, which bases on experience of the prior two years. It is necessary to obtain at least 220 thousands Euro in order to be everything representative and to reflect satisfaction of all parties. We are “moving” about within these figures. We want also create a new media centre, some state subsidy from government is also resolving. The government has approved 250 thousands for the press centre in Osrblie. Still no agreement is signed, but it should be signed up to the end of September in order we can obtain it just yet this year. I am an optimist, everything is set properly and the media centre will be put together. The media will have sufficient space for their work and their areas will not be cramped,” SBA president Tomáš Fusko believes.

Press conference about the upcoming  Youth and Junior World Championships

Matej Kubove