The Slovakian biathlon team led by superstars Anastasiya Kuzmina and Paulina Fialková provide the proof: UYN also withstands the demands of one of the most challenging winter sports in terms of fitness. The team has already been able to dazzle with top performances this season. We introduce its two most important representatives.
Anastasiya Kuzmina is the most successful biathlete in the Slovakian team. The native Russian is a three-time Olympic champion. She is the sister of former Russian biathlete Anton Shipulin and has been married to the former Israeli cross-country skier Daniel Kuzmin since 2007, who she followed to Slovakia after their wedding. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, she won two silver medals in the individual and pursuit events, and her third gold medal at the Olympic Games in total in the mass start. Kuzmina is therefore the first athlete able to win a gold medal in three events in a row. In autumn 2018, Kuzmina announced that she would be ending her career after the 2019 world championships in Östersund. Kuzmina has already impressed this season with two wins in the spring in Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic, and in Bavaria’s Ruhpolding.
Paulina Fialková is one of the most successful Slovakian biathletes alongside her team colleague Anastasiya Kuzmina. Her two years younger sister Ivona Fialková is also a biathlete. She has been on the podium five times so far this season. She achieved third place in the pursuit in Pokljuka, Slovenia, thanks to her flawless shooting. At the pursuit in Hochfilzen she managed second place, having been in the lead at some point. With her second place in the mass start in Nové Město na Moravě behind her team colleague Kuzmina, the two women provided a total novelty: it was the first Slovakian double victory in World Cup history.