Biathlon: Justine Braisaz-Bouchet beats Julia Simon and wins her first sprint-pursuit double in the World Cup

Nothing can resist Justine Braisaz-Bouchet

Biathlon: Justine Braisaz-Bouchet beats Julia Simon and wins her first sprint-pursuit double in the World Cup

Nothing can resist Justine Braisaz-Bouchet. La Beaufortaine scored her first sprint-pursuit double on Saturday December 16 at the Biathlon World Cup in Lenzerheide (Switzerland). She is ahead of her compatriot Julia Simon (25.2 sec), reigning world champion in the specialty. The Tricolores confirm their domination of the event, after Lou Jeanmonnot's double in Östersund (Sweden).

Thanks to her victory in the sprint on Thursday, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet started first in the women's pursuit, 12 seconds ahead of Norwegian Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold, yellow bib leader in the general classification, and 17 seconds ahead of the Italian Lisa Vittozzi.

Fourth at the start, Julia Simon came back from 40 seconds behind thanks to the penalty lap of the three leading women, to put herself back in second position from the first shot, just behind her compatriot. The two French women then made the difference on skis, while Julia Simon achieved an 18 out of 20 shooting (17/20 for Justine Braisaz-Bouchet). The Norwegian Marit Ishol Skogan completes the podium (1 min 13 sec), taking advantage of the failures of the favorites behind the rifle.

“This double is something!” said Justine Braisaz-Bouchet to La Chaîne L’Equipe, after her appearance on the podium. I was the least experienced in the lead basket in the pursuit, but I took a lot of joy in running, starting in the lead, and I showed a lot of serenity to break away from bib number 1. Things are falling into place! » This success is in fact the first for Justine Braisaz-Bouchet in this format, the last to resist her until then in the World Cup.

First success in the pursuit for Braisaz-Bouchet

With this second individual success since the start, she confirms her return to the forefront, after a maternity break last season. The graduate from Saisies (Savoie) has been in great shape since the start of winter, she is proving it again. His shooting success is improving with an average of 83% since the start of the 2023-2024 financial year, or 6 points more than during his last season.

The reasons for this development? “My new state of mind,” explains the person concerned at the microphone of La Chaîne L’Equipe. My relationship with shooting and competition has improved. Technically, I always had the keys but never knew how to put them in place. Today I feel more serene, more detached from the result, and I really enjoy myself.” By winning in Switzerland, the reigning Olympic mass start champion has made her mark perfectly in Lenzerheide, where the world championships will take place from February 7 to 18, 2024.

This tricolor double also takes on a particular meaning in light of the affair between Justine Braisaz-Bouchet and Julia Simon. The daily L’Equipe revealed, on July 4, that Julia Simon was the subject of two complaints for bank card fraud, filed in December 2022 and May 2023 by the Olympic champion and a member of the French staff. The 27-year-old biathlete is accused of having used their means of payment during an internship with the French team, in Norway during the summer of 2022, to make purchases on the Internet amounting to around 2,300 euros , according to his lawyer, who disputes these allegations. The standoff between the two skiers, both from Les Saisies, will therefore be particularly scrutinized this season.