(left) Justine Braisaz, Celia Aymonier, Anaïs Chevalier and Anaïs Bescond jump for joy after their victory at the 4×6 km relay in Oberhof, Germany, January 7, 2018
This is a very good omen before the Olympics: a little over a month of the great Olympic meeting in Pyeongchang (February 9-25), the French dominated on Sunday the Germans in front of their audience to win the relay. Oberhof, counting for the Biathlon World Cup.
Even if the locals were deprived of their leader Laura Dahlmeier, put to rest, the feat is not trivial for the Blue ones. Authors of the Grand Slam in this specialty in 2016-2017 (5 successes in 5 races) and victorious of the first relay of the season in Hochfilzen, the Germans were like scarecrows, which more is at home. But the high density of French women made all the difference.
Certainly, the historic leader of Tricolores Marie Dorin is totally out of this winter and had been exempted from this team event, as it will be for the next stage of the World Cup in Ruhpolding (10-14 January).
But with strong biathletes like Anaïs Bescond, who launched the relay perfectly, and the emergence of Justine Braisaz, winner at 21 years of her first race on the circuit, December 17 at Grand-Bornand (mass start), this group France has strong arguments. It only needed a little consistency in the two other relay runners, Anaïs Chevalier and Célia Aymonier, to make a beautiful machine to win.
The Blues, who advanced by 32.4 seconds to Germany (Hinz, Herrmann, Preuss, Hammerschmidt) and 48.2 seconds to Sweden (Persson, Magnusson, Hoegberg, Brorsson), had no longer imposed on a relay since January 2016, which highlights the importance of the performance achieved at Oberhof.
– ‚Positive energy‘ –
„It’s just as good as an individual victory,“ said Braisaz on the Chaîne L’Equipe, „It’s been two years since we had not been on the highest step of the podium, it’s very pleasant. It was a great battle, we needed it, we had been chasing the result for a little while, we know we have the potential but it’s not enough, we have to validate it behind, and today it’s a good thing. well to the head. “
The French did not want to ignite in the optics of the Olympics, although the Blue is now one of the favorites of the relay in South Korea.
„It’s positive energy, but it does not guarantee anything, today it was also perfectible and Germany had aligned its B team,“ she said.
A week from another test on the relay in Ruhpolding, again in Germany, the coach of the French team of ladies Julien Robert has for its part underlined the „experience and confidence accumulated“ by this success. Competition is prevented.