Biathlon Worlds: Julia Simon bronze medalist in the individual event, disappointment for the other French women

Of all the biathlon events, the individual is the longest race and rarely the most appreciated by the athletes

Biathlon Worlds: Julia Simon bronze medalist in the individual event, disappointment for the other French women

Of all the biathlon events, the individual is the longest race and rarely the most appreciated by the athletes. Alone facing themselves on the track, they set off one by one, every thirty seconds, with the objective of finishing this 15-kilometer time trial as quickly as possible. And, unlike other events, each missed target directly generates a minute penalty – not a 150-meter ring to cover. Precision on the firing point is therefore essential.

Lisa Vittozzi perfectly identified this issue on Tuesday, February 13, in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Already a silver medalist two days earlier in the pursuit, the Italian became world champion in the individual race thanks to a 20/20 shooting. She is twenty seconds ahead of the German Janina Hettich-Walz, who won the first medal of her career in such an event.

None of the French women competing on the track achieved this performance. Relentless at the start of the race, Julia Simon, big favorite for the title after her three gold medals (mixed relay, sprint and pursuit) in Nove Mesto, saw her hopes of a fourth coronation disappear after her only mistake during the last shot standing. His speed when stringing together shots still allowed him to obtain a bronze medal. The Savoyard will have to wait a little longer before overtaking Marie Dorin-Habert – five world titles in her career, like her – and thus become the most successful French woman at world championships.

“I have no regrets about the race, I'm happy, it's still a medal in the world championships,” said Julia Simon, very smiling after her effort, at the microphone of La Chaîne L'Equipe. I may have overestimated my physical capacity, but once again I had a great time. »

Disappointment for Lou Jeanmonnot and Justine Braisaz-Bouchet

Long in the race for a medal, Lou Jeanmonnot finally placed sixth after a failure, like Julia Simon, during her last standing shot. The Doubs biathlete, bronze medalist in the sprint, finished 41 seconds from the podium.

Disappointment also for Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, who made too many mistakes – three – in shooting. The native of Albertville (Savoie) was once again extremely fast on skis as she finished only 1 minute and 25 seconds behind the Italian winner. Despite her three-minute penalty, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, seventh, is ahead of competitors who achieved flawless shooting.

In tears a few minutes after crossing the finish line, the biathlete said she was “very disappointed” to come “just one shot away from a medal”. The Habs will perhaps have an opportunity to dry their tears on Thursday if they are lined up during the single mixed relay. As in the first event of these Worlds, where they won, the Blues will be one of the big favorites.