Quentin Fillon-Maillet winner in pattern, French double at Hochfilzen

“I’m the best!” ” Crossing the finish line on Saturday 11 December, at the end of the Hochfilzen (Austria) pursuit race, Quentin Fillon-Maillet let his joy burst out. Winner in boss, the French biathlete is joined on the podium by his compatriot Emilien Jacquelin – like last year at the same place -, new ex-aequo leader of the World Cup.

If Simon Desthieux believed for a long time that he had completed what promised to be the first fully tricolor podium since the end of 2019, the Frenchman was finally beaten by a spatula – and after analyzing the photo finish of the sprint – by the Swede Sebastian Samuelsson, and finished in fourth place.

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Revenge, “QFM” was. A week after having lived through hell and broken his rifle during the pursuit of Östersund (Sweden), and having had to lead a “Rescue mission” urgently with the supervision of the France team to repair his weapon, the French biathlete left no chance to his opponents.

Despite a shooting foul – his only mistake of the day – and a start in seventh position, the Jura, in difficulty since the start of the 2021-2022 season, took over the German Johannes Kuehn before the last standing shot, before leaving the winner of the sprint the day before, taking advantage of the latter’s shooting errors.

Rifle reconditioned

Impeccable against targets, after having benefited from the “Goldsmith’s job” of his team to repair the broken butt of his rifle, Quentin Fillon-Maillet has found a smile again, he who had won only one podium this season.

“It feels good to have a change of scenery”, expressed the Frenchman, on Thursday, in an interview with Ski Chrono. After two weeks in the near-polar cold of Östersund, the Franc-Comtois was looking forward to “Find the light and a beautiful snow”, auguring a “Very nice weekend. “

Winner, like last year on the same Austrian track, ahead of his compatriot Emilien Jacquelin, “QFM”, 29, won his first victory of the season and the seventh of his career.

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Emilien Jacquelin, also of a 19/20 shooting, confirms his excellent start to the season. For the third time this year on the podium, the two-time world pursuit champion is tied for lead in the overall World Cup standings, behind Sebastian Samuelsson.

After a mixed result in the sprint event (Jacquelin 6e, Fillon-Maillet 7e), the day before, the French biathletes made a successful debut on the Austrian track. A good omen, a few months before the Olympic Games in Beijing where the Blues, orphans of Martin Fourcade, intend to continue to make French biathlon shine.

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