Jean-Paul Giachino, the shooting coach of the French women’s biathlon team, can shake his fist. By achieving a clear round in the last standing shot of the individual from Anterselva (Italy) – 19/20 in total –, Friday January 21, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet offered her first victory of the season.
She raises her arms for the third time in her career in the World Cup and wins her second podium of the season, after her 2and place in the sprint in Hochfilzen (Austria) on December 10.
Best time on skis, the 25-year-old biathlete crossed the finish line fifty seconds ahead of her compatriot Julia Simon, 2and. The latter suffered from her two faults behind the rifle, but still signs her third podium of the season. “To be two French women on the front of the stage is really cool… even if I’m happy to be in front”, jokes Justine Braisaz-Bouchet.
The Swedish Mona Brorsson (18/20) completes the “box”, while the Czech Marketa Davidova (6and) wins, meanwhile, the small globe of the specialty. The race also took place in the absence of certain favourites, having preferred to refine their preparation for the Winter Olympics. Among them, the Norwegian Marte Olsbu Roeiseland or the Swedish sisters Hanna and Elvira Oeberg.
“I fought on every shot”
Before the start, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet had entrusted to the microphone of the chain The Team that she no longer wanted to let opportunities pass her by. No biathlete has achieved 20/20 – in this event each fault behind the rifle is equivalent to a penalty minute.
On a windswept launch pad, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet was able to temporize: “I fought on each shot, letting the gusts pass, recovering myself when I felt imbalances”, she analyzes on arrival.
“I adapted with the lucidity of the day. I was in my race: desire, relaxation and concentration to block. »
“A double does not happen every day. A fortnight before the Games, it couldn’t be better: the results are coming, the confidence is there”, rejoiced the coach of the French biathlon team, Stéphane Bouthiaux.
Two other French women retained in the France group for the Beijing deadline also signed fine performances: Chloé Chevalier offered her best result on an individual (17and) and Paula Botet finishes 40and with a single error on the launch pad. Only small disappointment: the 77and place of Anaïs Bescond, with seven errors on the shooting range.
Les Bleues now total ten individual podiums since the start of the World Cup season. A good omen less than a fortnight before the start of the Olympics (4 to 20 February).