first world title in history for the French women’s relay

Largely favorites in Nove Mesto where they have been very successful since the start of the competition, the French dominated the competition despite their shooting errors.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial



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Sophie Chauveau, Justine Braisaz, Julia Simon and Lou Jeanmonnot celebrate after winning the women's relay event of the Biathlon World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, February 17, 2024. (JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

A golden quartet. Widely favored because they were victorious in the two previous women’s relays (4x6km) in the World Cup, the four French women Lou Jeanmonnot, Sophie Chauveau, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet and Julia Simon did it again at the World Cup in Nove Mesto (Czech Republic), Saturday February 17. A victory that allows them to enter in the history of French biathlon since France has never won the women’s relay during the world championships.

It was in pain that they climbed to the highest step of the podium. After the passage perfect from Lou Jeanmonnot and her 22 seconds lead, the two penalty laps from Sophie Chauveau, clumsy in shooting, squandered the lead of the first laps. To the point that France was once in 9th place, 45 seconds behind the race lead. But everything changed with the relay of Justine Braisaz-Bouchet. LThe Albertville native, extremely fast on skis, scrounged up time between each of her shots, scoring a 9/10 and a well-negotiated draw ball, while her competitors multiplied their errors. As usual, Julia Simon concluded the celebration by allowing herself a lap of honor, French flag brandished, and crossing the line 38 seconds ahead of Sweden. All in a short-sleeved jumpsuit.

The Blues first in the medal ranking

“We knew we had a good chance of getting there, savored Lou Jeanmonnot, already titled in the mixed relay two days ago with Quentin Fillon Maillet, on the microphone of the L’Equipe channel after the race. We never had this title. The exceptional character made us want it even more. An individual medal is great, but being able to share it with all our colleagues gives it more flavor.” Julia Simon, competitor, regretted “lack of manners” with which France offered itself this historic title, without much success in shooting and with the Norwegians absolutely not present in the standoff (10th after five rounds on the penalty ring).

The French quartet gave France a ninth medal during these world championships in the Czech Republic, the fifth in gold, consolidating the Blues’ first place in the medal rankings. After two victories in the mixed and single mixed relays, France is currently doing well in the team events, before the men’s relay on Saturday afternoon, where Norway is the big favorite.

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