Big sensation for the opening of the season: thanks to a 20 out of 20 shooting, Sturla Holm Laegreid won her first World Cup race in the individual in Kontiolahti (Finland), this Saturday. The 23-year-old Norwegian wins in front of the two-time champion of the big globe title Johannes Boe and the German Erik Lesser, authors of a fault behind the rifle.
For Laegreid, it was only the fifth World Cup start. After a remarkable start to the 2020 season in the IBU Cup (victory over Martell’s mass start), he took part in the last two stages at Nove Mesto and Kontiolahti. Where his regularity in shooting (only one missed ball) had allowed him not to leave the top 15 (10th in the Kontiolahti sprint, best result). Enough to be selected from the start by the Norwegian staff, who had had a blank season in 2019 because of mononucleosis.
“I wanted to progress step by step and here I am going to wear the leader’s yellow bib. It’s incredible “
« I had a perfect race, he explained. Frankly, I didn’t think I would be able to win a World Cup race so quickly. I wanted to progress step by step and here I am going to wear the leader’s yellow bib. It’s incredible. “Beside him, his teammate Johannes Boe seemed much less surprised:” J‘saw what he did during the preparation, he worked a lot behind the rifle. I think he’s the best shot on the circuit. »
Best ski time, applied behind his weapon, Boe seemed already at the level for the big globe race: ” I was nervous at the start and quite worried about not being on top. I know everyone is waiting for me, especially now that Martin (Fourcade) not here anymore. Before, I was forgiven for losing to him but now I have no more excuses, we just wait for me to win. »
Fillon Maillet “a little disappointed”
Last winter, the French missed the podium in the first race and then never left it again. They did it again this Saturday, Quentin Fillon Maillet (19/20 and 9th skiing time) failing in fourth place for two small seconds. ” It’s not bad for a start but I’m a little disappointed, he confessed, he who did not hide that he was aiming for the big globe. My shot is correct but I lacked a little energy and punch on the skis. As usual, I know that doing more races will do me good. »
Behind the Jurassic, the other Blues left too many bullets on the way. Émilien Jacquelin (8th with 18/20, 8th skiing time) regretted having been “ a little tense on (his) first two shots before releasing well “And Simon Desthieux (15th with 18/20, 23rd skiing time only) retained” a bit average set ».
The good news came from Antonin Guigonnat (9th with 19/20), who is coming out of a difficult season and seems to have questioned himself well since last spring. ” I managed my race well, my shot was well established and I had fun, he said. I’m super happy to be back in the top 10. »
Martin Perrillat Bottonet (70th with 18/20) and Fabien Claude (72nd with 13/20) finished further.