High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! The first Biathlon World Championships (BWCH) was held in 1958, with individual and team contests for men. The number of events has grown significantly over the years. Beginning in 1984, women biathletes had their own World Championships, and finally, from 1989, both genders have been participating in joint BWCHs. In 1978 the development was enhanced by the change from the large army rifle calibre to a small bore rifle, while the range to the target was reduced from 150 to 50 meters.