Quentin Fillon Maillet of France is tipped for the Crystal Globe again ©Getty Images

Kontiolahti in Finland is set to host the first event of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup season starting tomorrow.

The focus once again shifts to Quentin Fillon Maillet, the defending champion and the Olympic gold medallist in the men’s 20 km individual event.

The Frenchman won the Crystal Globe last season with one event to spare and will face stiff competition from Johannes Thingnes Bø of Norway.

Another Norwegian in Sturla Holm Lægreid will look to challenge Fillon Maillet.

Laegreid finished second overall and will look to improve his shooting after a dip from 92 per cent to 86 per cent last season.

Sebastian Samuelsson of Sweden, who started with two sprint victories last season, is another athlete who will need to work on his shooting.

Among women, the Öberg sisters are tipped to dominate once again.

The Swedish duo were crowned Olympic champions in the women’s 4x6 kilometres biathlon relay in Beijing.

At the World Cup, Elvira and Hanna Öberg finished second and fourth respectively.

Norway’s Marte Olsbu Røiselan, who dominated the women’s field by winning the overall title by more than 100 points, will be a favourite even though she is missing the season opener.

Austria will have Lisa Hauser to look up to after finishing in the top 10 sixteen times and third overall.