Why do biathletes need micro-chips?


Why do biathletes need micro-chips?

The most memorable moment for a biathlete is a finish line. If you cross it all alone, the result is apparent. But what if not? How is the faster biathlete detected if two or three finish at almost the same moment? Sometimes one-thousands of a second determine the winner.

A special system to control the biathletes during a race, called timing, has been created. The most popular timing system is Siwidata.

Leonid Karas, National Winter Olympic Training Center Raubichi, deputy director:
The system consists of two parts: the fixed and the portable. The fixed system includes detectors in checkpoints. The data collected by these detectors is sent to the central server.

The longest circuit in Raubichi has 11 checkpoints. There're also 4 additional ones: before and after the shooting zone, at the penalty loop and at the finish line.

The system is very easy. Microchips are put on both a biathlete’s legs. They are used to detect the first leg over the finish line. The result is sent to the server and recorded by the chip at the very moment. The chips are taken off after the competition and the received data is decoded. It’s impossible to refuse from wearing chips. However, they do not disturb an athlete. This system resembles wristwatches.

There’s almost no chance for a failure of the system. Time and results are recorded automatically. The only thing done manually is the input of a biathlete’s number when he or she reaches the shooting zone. However, computers may soon become responsible for this task as well. Siwidata system is still being improved. It warranty period is five years.

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