France’s two out of two relay victories

French quartet Quentin Fillon Maillet, Simon Desthieux, Justine Braisaz, and Julia Simon secured second France’s triumph of the day, finishing the mixed relay in 1:17:53.3 and eight spare rounds. Norway and Germany completed the podium with 40.6 and 1:01.4 seconds back, respectively.

In front of 5,846 spectators, France started strong with Fillon Maillet handing the baton to Desthieux as the fastest, in the second leg Johannes Thingnes Bø took over the lead, but Braisaz regained the lead with an amazing ski performance. In the last leg, Simon did not drop the lead, securing the second win of the day for France. Desthieux had already before the race knew that the fight with younger of the Bø brothers will be tough: “Johannes was like always faster than us. I decided to take a lot of distance with him because he skied really well. I am happy with my performance and our result since we won.” His teammate Braisaz shared the joy, but still believes she has some space to improve: “I was thinking only about my race. I really wanted to manage clean shooting, but I did not succeed. I want to go race by race. It was a good competition, just shooting did not go so well. Overall, we are really happy about both wins today.”

Norwegian team, in which besides Johannes Thingnes competed also his brother Tarjei, Synnøve Solemdal and Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold, delivered a solid shooting with only four spares but lost the win in the ski track. “We are really happy with the result. We saw that the French are a really strong team. The French-Norwegian fight is big this year and it continues. Quentin is really strong here and I believe he is a favourite tomorrow,” commented Tarjei after the race.

Germans Philipp Horn, Johannes Kühn, Janina Hettich, and Vanessa Hinz have put up a great fight against the Norwegians. Hettich handed over the baton to Hinz just five seconds back comparing to their rivals for the second place. In the end, they finished third, still happy with the result. “I was really looking forward to the race today because I got the chance to compete in the relay again. I think that my performance today was one of the best ones this season. It was my first race with clean shooting and I am really happy about it. It was also a great experience to leave the shooting range in the first position. This was my first time. I could not follow Tarjei at the end, but I am really satisfied,” Horn, who started the race, shared his thoughts.

Russia’s team Eliseev/Loginov/Kuklina/Starykh finished fourth, 1:24.8 back, while Sweden’s Femling/Nelin/Magnusson/Hoeberg and the Czech Republic’s Moravec/Krcmar/Davidova/Kristejn Puskarickova claimed the fifth and sixth place, 1:34.1 and 1:49.8 back, respectively.

The home quartet composed by Jakov Fak, Klemen Bauer, Polona Klemenčič and Lea Einfalt finished 11th.