Oberhof's Arena am Rennsteig is due to host the IBU World Championships from tomorrow until February 19 ©Getty Images

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Championships are set to begin in the German resort of Oberhof tomorrow, with Norwegian and French athletes tipped for success.

This year's edition is also due to be the first World Championships without IBU World Cup ranking points on offer, which the International Federation says reinforces its status as biathlon's "premier, standalone event".

It is set to mark the second time Oberhof has held the event following on from the 2021 edition, with competition set to begin tomorrow with the mixed relay at the Arena am Rennsteig.

IBU President Olle Dahlin believes that Oberhof will prove a worthy host for the 260 athletes from 36 countries.

"We have no doubt it will be a fantastic Championships full of thrilling biathlon and unforgettable athlete performances," the Swedish official said.

"Oberhof has made significant investment in creating a state-of-the-art and sustainable venue which will provide the perfect conditions for athletes to compete at their very best and support the development of winter sport in the region for years to come.

"With more than 160,000 fans expected to fill this wonderful arena during the Championships we can be assured of an incredible atmosphere to celebrate our sport."

Women's competition is due to begin on Friday (February 10) with the 7.5 kilometres sprint, followed by the start of the men's medal events on Saturday (February 11) with the 10km sprint.

Men's IBU World Cup leader and double Olympic champion Johannes Thingnes Bø of Norway is among the stars featuring at the World Championships ©Getty Images
Men's IBU World Cup leader and double Olympic champion Johannes Thingnes Bø of Norway is among the stars featuring at the World Championships ©Getty Images

Women's 10km and men's 12.5km pursuit races are scheduled for Sunday (February 12), and the men's 20km individual and women's 15km individual for next Tuesday (February 14) and Wednesday (February 15) respectively.

The single mixed relay is due to follow next Thursday (February 16), and the men's 4x7.5km and women's 4x6km relays next Saturday (February 18).

The World Championships are set to conclude with the men's 15km mass start and women's 12.5km mass start on February 19.

The men's competition is expected to be dominated by Quentin Fillon Maillet of France and Johannes Thingnes Bø of Norway.

Fillon Maillet won the individual and pursuit titles at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, while Thingnes Bø claimed golds in the sprint and mass start.

Thingnes Bø is arriving in red-hot form having won the last six IBU World Cup events to move clear of compatriot Sturla Holm Lægreid in the overall standings.

On the women's side, Marte Olsbu Røiseland of Norway won the sprint and pursuit golds at Beijing 2022.

French World Cup leader Julia Simon and Germany's individual Beijing 2022 gold medallist Denise Herrmann-Wick are among the other stars competing.

Russian and Belarusian athletes are unable to compete because of ongoing measures in response to the war in Ukraine.