Biathlon was a new event in the Olympic program 1960. It was an individual variant of the military ski patrol competition, an official medal sport in 1924, and organized as a demonstration sport on several earlier Olympic occasions. The first World Championships were organized in Saalfelden, Austria in 1958 with Adolf Wiklund from Sweden as the first champion. One year later the Soviets took a double in Courmayeur, Italy, with Vladimir Melanin as winner and Dmitry Sokolov in second place. The Olympic biathlon competition in 1960 was contested over 20 km with 20 shots fired over four different ranges: 200m, 250m, 150m and 100m. The first three series were fired from a prone position, the last standing. Each missed target gave a two minute penalty, which was added to the final time. In 1967 the penalty for each missed target was reduced from two to one minute. Also the weapon was different from the small board rifle in use nowadays. The biathletes at that time used a high-power center fire rifle, normally caliber 7,62 mm. The normal start interval in those days was two minutes, but due to very mild temperatures the intervals were reduced to one minute for the first Olympic event.