Insatiable biathletes, decisive Kylian Mbappé, marathon runners in great shape… The weekend’s sports recap

From the overwhelming victory of the women’s relay at the Biathlon Worlds to swimmer David Aubry’s bronze medal, including Kylian Mbappé’s contrasting evening during Nantes-PSG, a look back at the sporting news of the weekend.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial


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Footballer Kylian Mbappé, biathlete Julia Simon and marathon runner Morhad Amdouni attracted the spotlight on Saturday February 17 and Sunday February 18.  (JORIS VERWIJST / AFP)

It took the Fantastic Four of women’s biathlon and their three medals from the weekend to eclipse Kylian Mbappé. The Parisian striker, who punctuated the weekend after informing his managers of his departure at the end of the season, scored in Nantes (2-0) on Saturday February 17. But he was not the only one to shine. Swimmers Mélanie Henique and David Aubry, and marathon runners Morhad Amdouni and Méline Rollin achieved other notable performances.

Biathlon: two world gold medals which complete a historic competition

Fortunately the Biathlon Worlds are over, because we were starting to run out of superlatives to describe the performances of the French women’s team. Justine Braisaz-Bouchet’s overwhelming victory in the mass start, Sunday February 18, is the last brushstroke on a master’s canvas, with Lou Jeanmonnot’s bronze as a bonus.

The day after the gold medal in the relay (the three individual medalists, plus Sophie Chauveau), the French finished with a whopping eight medals out of 12 possible in the individual events. Julia Simon, fourth in the mass start, leaves the Czech Republic with four medals (three gold, one bronze), as many for Justine Braisaz-Bouchet (two gold, one silver, one bronze). A stunning assessment.

But the French harvest would not have been completely complete without a podium in a men’s individual race, after a winter without reason to rejoice. And inevitably, the light came from Quentin Fillon Maillet, tanned in the final event, the mass start. “The foundations are starting to be laid and bode well for a good end to the season”underlined the coach of the Blues, Simon Fourcade.

Football: Mbappé scorer scrutinized, OM “hits rock bottom”

Upset upon his arrival at the Beaujoire stadium, released on the bench, then elated after his 21st goal of the season scored on a penalty… Kylian Mbappé’s facial expressions were interpreted before, during and after Nantes-PSG (0 -2), Saturday February 17. Without us learning more about his true state of mind at the moment.

The facts of the match can be summed up in a few words: Mbappé entered, he scored and smiled broadly at the camera. In short, there is no “no problem”, as Luis Enrique assured on Canal +. The Spanish coach let his scorer breathe at kick-off as part of a logical turnover, according to him, which also concerned Ousmane Dembélé and Achraf Hakimi, seventy-two hours after the victory in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League, against Real Sociedad (2-0).

Paris Saint-Germain accentuated its domination at the top of Ligue 1, extending its invincibility away from home to 18 consecutive matches. Here he is in an ideal position to win his 12th French championship title. Far behind (9th), OM plunged into crisis by losing to Brest (0-1), who nevertheless played for more than half an hour numerically inferior. “We’ve hit rock bottom”, observed, fatalistically, Marseille coach Gennaro Gattuso. The Bretons become runners-up to PSG.

Swimming: medals for Mélanie Henique and David Aubry, pride for polo players

Paid strategy. While most of the pool stars skipped these world championships in Doha (Qatar), unusually placed in February, swimmer Mélanie Henique won silver in the 50m butterfly on Saturday February 17 ( 24”63), a distance which is not on the program for the Olympic Games. Picarde’s third world medal was followed the next day by David Aubry’s bronze in the 1,500m freestyle, “the most beautiful medal of all [sa] career.”

But not the only performance of the Worlds. Disappointing in view of their unexpected journey, the fourth place of the men’s water polo team crowns a dazzling progression for a collective without reference at the highest level. The two defeats to finish, cruel in the semi-final against the Croatians (11-11, 5-6 on penalties) – finally crowned for the third time – then against Spain for the bronze medal (10-14) must not tarnish the excellent tournament. “We can be proud, we have passed a huge milestone”said the captain, Ugo Crousillat.

Athletics: the marathon in Olympic form, Kevin Mayer not yet

It’s not just French footballers who flourish in Seville. Sunday February 18, on the Andalusian asphalt, marathon runners Morhad Amdouni and Méline Rollin both broke the French record, twenty minutes apart. 95 seconds for the first (2h03’47”) Who has, barring an accident, pocketed the third tricolor ticket for the marathon in Paris, probably alongside Mehdi Frère and Nicolas Navarro, also authors of the selection minimums. En erasing Christelle Daunay’s time, which dated back fourteen years, (2h24’12”). Méline Rollin also took a big step towards Olympic qualification.

At the French indoor championships in Miramas (Bouches-du-Rhône), Kevin Mayer was reassured. After a delicate Saturday, with an aborted 60m and a weight competition “catastrophic”the double world champion jumped 5.15 m in the pole vault. “I had a blast, but I really need some rest here”, he reacted. Between now and his next decathlon in the United States, in five weeks, he will be content to “rest” and of “micro-adjustments”. Furthermore, the Dutch Femke Bol improved her own indoor 400m world record (49”24) during her national championships.

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