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France crowned in men’s relay, a first since 2001

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The French team was crowned world relay champion on Saturday at the Biathlon Worlds in Anterselva, Italy. “It was the title we were missing” since 2001, said Martin Fourcade, the leader of the French team.

The French biathlon team has been waiting for this coronation for 19 years. It’s been done since this Saturday, February 22: the Blues are world relay champions after winning the event in Anterselva, Italy.

This is the first major relay title won by Martin Fourcade, the leader of the 31-year-old French team. The Blues – Emilien Jacquelin, Martin Fourcade, Simon Desthieux and Quentin Fillon-Maillet – beat Norway, defending champion, and Germany.

“Today this title is not the only title that I missed, it was the title that we lacked (French team, note),” said Martin Fourcade at the microphone of Eurosport.

“I remember this unthinkable title for the French team. Year after year we have shown that it was no longer unthinkable and that it was obvious that the French team should win. It is beautiful to see this journey and these 19 years mean something to me because there are all those with whom I shared this adventure in the French team: the coaches, the staff, the technicians, “he added.

Martin Fourcade admits today with hindsight that “it has been frustrating throughout my career to feel that I could not transcend this team around me, that I could not transmit this touch of madness that I managed to clear in competition “.

“Enormous competition in the French team”

This gold medal is the third in the competition for the tricolor clan after the victories of Emilien Jacquelin (pursuit) and Martin Fourcade (individual).

The Blues were at the forefront throughout the race and were long in the fight with Germany. But Benedikt Doll, the last German torchbearer, finally cracked on the launch pad before being overtaken by the Norwegian Johannes Boe for the gain of 2nd place.

“I tried to stay focused on my shot, he (the German Benedikt Doll, note) he cracked. The last ball was hard to put but here it is done,” said Quentin Fillon-Maillet, last French torchbearer. “It’s been a few years that the French team has revolved around this gold medal on major events. Today we really have it and we can say thank you to the enormous work done by the whole team thanks to the enormous emulation in the French team “.

Russia and its leader Alexander Loginov, whose hotel was raided on Saturday morning by Italian police for suspected doping, took 4th position.

With AFP


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