France’s triumph in single mixed relay

Second relay fixture of the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 Pokljuka went to French Julia Simon and Antonin Guigonnat, who completed the race in 36:42.4 and 5 spare rounds. They were followed by Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe and Tiril Eckhoff finishing just 2.8 seconds back and using 9 spares, while Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson and Hanna Oeberg claimed the bronze, 22.6 seconds back and 8 used spares.

Norway, the defending champions started the race with their main superstar Boe but it was Austria’s Simon Eder, with his impeccable shooting, who tagged the first. Later, Italy’s Dorothea Wierer outskied and outshot Eder’s compatriot Lisa Theresa Hauser to clash with Oeberg and Eckhoff for first three positions. However, Simon delivered an impressively fast and accurate shooting and together with fast skiing she jumped ahead and allowed Guigonnat to take his turn as the leading biathlete.

Italy’s Lukas Hoffer was fast and despite two spares, he followed Guigonnat closely. Still, Norway did not want to give up the title. Eckhoff cleared the last shooting, while Simon missed once and was right on the Eckhoff’s skis. She delivered an impressive track performance and outskied Eckhoff in the last downhill to secure France’s gold. “World champions, that is incredible. Both of us did a great race, good skiing on a quite fast and technical downhill and we both were pretty good at going down,” Guigonnat commented in the finish. Simon agreed with him: “It is very nice! Antonin did a great first leg and I needed to finish the job. It was pretty hard on the last lap with Tiril, but I am really happy. I think my shooting was much better than the other days and I am really really happy.”

Oeberg took advantage of Wierer’s four missed shots in the last shooting to finish third.

Ukraine’s Artem Pryma/Darya Blashko finished fourth, 35.9 seconds back, while Hofer/Wierer and Eder/Hauser completed the top-six, finishing 55.2 and 1:03.5 seconds back, respectively.

SINGLE MIXED RELAY

1. France (Antonin Guigonnat, Julia Simon)      36:42.4 (0+5) 
2. Norway (Johannes Thingnes Boe, Tiril Eckhoff)          + 2.8 (0+9)
3. Sweden (Sebastian Samuelsson, Hanna Oeberg)        + 22.6 (0+8)