Here she is already at the height of Marie Dorin-Habert, crowned five times in the history of the Biathlon Worlds, in 2015 and 2016. Julia Simon once again flew through the continuation of these world championships in Nove Mesto (Czech Republic), to achieve the double, two days after the sprint. The 27-year-old Frenchwoman is therefore dominating her sport like Martin Fourcade and Johannes Boe in their prime, with her third gold medal of the week (also after the mixed relay on Wednesday). Julia Simon now has a total of five world titles, if we add her single mixed relay in 2021 in Pokljuka (Slovenia) and her pursuit last year in Oberhof (Germany).
In the French biathlon rankings at the Worlds, only Raphaël Poirée (eight titles including one in relay) and Martin Fourcade (thirteen titles, two in relay) remain ahead of her. Over the 10 kilometers of the pursuit on Sunday, in pouring rain, the winner of the 2023 Gos Globe showed that she was indeed the best biathlete on the planet at the moment.
“It was difficult for a few years”
Starting in the lead thanks to her success in the sprint, she had a head start on the other competitors, relegated to at least forty seconds. All, except Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, who started at five seconds and quickly returned to her skis from the first meters. The long-awaited duel lasted over the first three rounds, with one fault each on the second prone shot. And then the magic of Julia Simon’s standing shot spoke: she blanked her first three targets when “JBB” had not yet released her first ball.
“ I did the biathlon that I love, not thinking and shooting quickly, she said with a big smile. My races are really well constructed. I am really very proud to have managed to put this in place at these world championships. It was difficult for a few years but we managed to make me become a real biathlete, not just a trap shooter. » »
On the last climb, race won and third Czech gold charm in the suitcase, she even stopped on the track to shake a few hands, starting with Cyril Burdet, the coach of the French women’s group. Delighted, she crossed the finish line to the ovation of 20,000 spectators, ahead of the Italian Lisa Vittozzi and her compatriot Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, who inherited the bronze. The French team has already won three titles and six medals in Nove Mesto.
The legal case relegated very far away
“She is the queen of these Worlds, she is extraordinary in every way, especially the way she manages her emotions. Nothing disturbs her. At the strategic level, if she played chess, she would be world champion too,” underlines Norway’s French coach, Siegfried Mazet.
After spending the summer training alone, in conjunction with the French team staff, Julia Simon had a complicated start to the season, notably a 31st place in the individual (15 km) in Ostersund (Sweden). ), where she admitted to being “mentally exhausted”. “What I like is that since January, what she has exuded is calm, which she did not have in December,” appreciates the shooting coach of French women, Jean-Paul Giachino.
The case which opposes her on the legal ground to her teammate Justine Braisaz-Bouchet (two complaints filed against Julia Simon, including one by Braisaz-Bouchet, for bank card fraud, a complaint against identity) is relegated very far. In Nove Mesto, he has two races left to achieve an unthinkable individual quadruplet that no biathlete has managed to achieve. Not even the French Raphaël Poirée and Martin Fourcade, the Norwegians Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Johannes Boe and Liv Grete Poirée, and the German Laura Dahlmeier, who have “only” three solo titles on an edition of the Worlds in the past . History is in progress.