Tuesday Feb. 18, 2014 21:22 ET

Biathlon mixed relay makes Olympic debut

Teams consist of 2 women & 2 men

Norway's Tora Berger (4) and Switzerland's Selina Gasparin (5) compete in the women's biathlon 12,5 km
Norway's Tora Berger (4) and Switzerland's Selina Gasparin (5) compete in the women's biathlon 12,5 km mass start at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Centre on day 10 of the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images)

The last of the rookie Olympic events makes its debut Wednesday in Sochi (9:30 a.m. ET).

Biathlon mixed relay’s first appearance on the Olympic stage comes after ski halfpipe, ski slopestyle, women's ski jumping, snowboard parallel slalom, snowboard slopestyle, luge team relay and figure skating team have already made their successful debuts in Sochi.

And despite not being a fresh, extreme winter sport like most of the other disciplines added to the Olympic roster, biathlon mixed relay adds the always-interesting component of having both men and women compete in the same race.

Like the ordinary relay, the teams are formed by four biathletes, but in this case it’s two women and two men. Each member of the team skis one of four legs of the event.

The Canadian team of Megan Imrie of Falcon Lake, Man., Rosanna Crawford of Canmore, Alta., and Brendan Green, who was born in Hay River, N.W.T., but now trains in Canmore, and Scott Perras of Regina will be a solid contender and one of the dark horses heading into the event.

The first two legs are skied by the women, while the men complete the race. The distances stay the same for the women (6 kilometres) and men (7.5 kilometres) as they are in the individual events.

The women ski three loops and go to the shooting range twice, where they shoot prone first and then standing. The men have to perform the same drill, but with longer loop distances.

Competitors must ski a 150-meter penalty loop for each target missed during the shooting.

Martin Fourcade and his French team, along with Tora Berger’s team from Norway are favourites to medal.

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