Double Olympic champion Martin Fourcade of France will bid to add more World Championships gold medals to his extensive collection during this year's edition of the event, which gets underway in Hochfilzen tomorrow.
Fourcade arrives in the Austrian resort as the one to beat in the men's events and will aim to reassert his dominance of the sport.
The 28-year-old is the current overall International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup leader and has won 10 World Championships titles during his impressive career to date.
The mass start gold medal was the only crown to elude him during last year's event in Oslo, where he was beaten by Norway's Johannes Thingnes Bø.
So far this season, Bø and the rest of the challenging pack, which also includes the likes of Russian Anton Shipulin and Germany's Simon Schempp, have found it difficult to get anywhere near the formidable Frenchman.
They will be hoping they can upset the odds across the competition in Hochfilzen, due to conclude on February 19.
The women's events are likely to provide much closer results, with Gabriela Koukalová of the Czech Republic seeking to earn her maiden individual World Championships gold medal.
The double Olympic silver medallist won the 2015 to 2016 World Cup title but failed to finish on the podium during last year's World Championships.
Koukalová will be one of the favourites in the sprint, pursuit and mass start races although she is set to face stiff competition in all of the women's races.
World Cup leader Laura Dahlmeier of Germany will also be among the highly-fancied athletes in the Austrian resort, while Frenchwoman Marie Dorin Habert will bid to replicate her display in Oslo, where she clinched three golds and two silvers.
The 2017 World Championships begin with the traditional curtain-raising mixed relay tomorrow.