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Olympic Games 2022: biathlete Quentin Fillon Maillet crowned in the individual event

The days go by and are alike for French biathletes: after the silver medal in the mixed relay on Saturday, then that of Anais Chevalier-Bouchet in the individual on Monday, it is Quentin Fillon Maillet’s turn to shine in the men’s version of the same event, Tuesday 8 February. The current leader of the World Cup had warned: at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, he will compete in all the races “the knife between the teeth”. It was with this rage for victory that “QFM” came to win its first Olympic title; the fifth medal of the tricolor contingent, the first of the finest of metals. The Belarusian Anton Smolski and the Norwegian Johannes Boe, second and third, complete the podium.

Beijing 2022 Olympics: Follow the events of February 8 live

As in the women’s event the day before, the 92 entrants were able to take advantage of less extreme conditions than those they had encountered since their arrival in China (-6°C and a moderate wind despite a few gusts) to cover the 20 kilometers of this endurance race, punctuated by four passages on the launch pad – in a sequence lying down, standing up, lying down, standing up -, where each fault on the launch pad results in a one-minute penalty on the clock.

Number 11 on the back and big favorite of these Olympics, “QFM” was expected. However, he had not distinguished himself in this race format this season: 20and individual at Antholz-Anterselva (Italy), at the end of January; 8and from that of Ostersund (Sweden), in November 2021. But his incredible start to his career on the world circuit (seven podiums, including five victories, in fifteen individual races) and his solidity during the mixed relay (1 pick), Saturday , left little room for doubt.

Track “cut” for him, according to Bjoerndalen

The legend of biathlon, the Norwegian Ole-Einar Bjoerndalen, the man with thirteen Olympic titles who became a coach of China, had warned: the track of the site of Zhangkjiakou is “carved” for him. In fact, on Tuesday, his speed on skis allowed him to erase his two errors on the shooting range (18/20), putting more than 30 seconds to the Norwegian Johannes Boe, despite his two faults behind the rifle. The Belarusian Anton Smolski, will show a disbursement of more than two minutes, despite his 20/20 shooting.

It was with their gaze turned towards Norway that the French knew they would find their main rivals of the day, in the forefront of which the brothers Johannes and Tarjei Boe, already crowned at the Zhangjiakou stadium in the mixed relay. Tarje Boe, current 4and of the general classification of the World Cup, is the winner of the globe of the specialty this season.

His younger brother, Johannes, if he totaled only four victories on the individual out of his 53 recorded in his career on the world circuit, nevertheless remained the reigning Olympic champion. And, if the 28-year-old biathlete seemed more struggling this season (three individual podiums including a victory in 2021-2022), he has already impressed at these Games in China, during the mixed relay.

There are still four races to go for the male biathletes: the sprint on February 12, the pursuit on February 13, the relay on February 15 and the mass start on February 18.

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