MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. Russia’s 2014 Olympic gold medalist in biathlon Anton Shipulin announced on Tuesday his intention to wrap up with sports career after participating in another international tournament later this month.
Shipulin, 31, confirmed his plans to take part in the 2018 World Team Challenge, which is an annual international biathlon event in Germany’s Gelsenkirchen, known in Russia as 'Christmas Race,' and will be held at the Veltins-Arena on December 29.
"I will be racing jointly with Ekaterina Yurlova," Shipulin told a news conference on Tuesday. "The most important I would like to say is that this race will be the last one in my professional career."
"I have made a decision to wrap up with my sports career," Shipulin stated.
"I hope to cross the finish line of the ‘Christmas Race’ carrying the national flag and leaving my closest competitors far behind, but this is biathlon and anything can happen," he said. "Moreover, I am not in my optimal shape at the moment."
Shipulin and Yurlova are the winners of the 2012 World Team Challenge tournament. Last year’s winners of the annual international tournament in Germany are also biathletes from Russia Alexey Volkov and Yekaterina Sleptsova.
Last season Shipulin was down four times with mononucleosis disease and doctors advised him to take a six-month period to rest in connection with health problems. The athlete skipped the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang because he did not receive a personal invitation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
He finished the 2017-2018 Biathlon World Cup season in the third place becoming the best biathlete of Russia for the fifth time in a row. Shipulin announced this summer that he was still undecided about his future career, but later stated his intentions to participate in the 2018-2019 Biathlon World Cup.
Shipulin is the gold medalist in biathlon relay of the 2014 Olympics in Russia’s Sochi and the bronze medalist in biathlon relay of the 2010 Olympics in Canada’s Vancouver. He won a total of seven medals of the World Championships: the gold in 2017 (in relay); the silver in 2011, 2013, 2015 and the bronze in 2012, 2013, 2017.