Julia Simon was crowned world champion as France enjoyed a stellar day at the Biathlon World Championships in Nove Mesto with a clean sweep of the women’s 7.5km sprint.
Having led home the mixed relay to gold on Wednesday, Simon set off early in the women’s sprint and produced a time that no one could match.
The only person who came close was compatriot Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, who missed one target on her prone shoot. This turned out to prove costly as she finished 4.9 seconds back.
Lou Jeanmonnot, who was not part of the mixed relay team, also missed once, but still had sufficient ski speed to clinch bronze, 40.8 seconds behind Simon.
The French dominance continued with Sophie Chauveau taking fourth spot, while Latvia’s Baiba Bendika was the first non-French athlete in fifth, 46.5 seconds behind Simon.
“Oh my God, it is real,” Simon said. “What an amazing day for all our team! Doing this, here at World Champs? Wow, we will remember this moment.”
Indeed, it was Simon’s day. Last year’s overall World Cup champion is continuing the form that has seen her surge into contention for this season’s title, following victory in the mass start in Antholz Anterselva last month.
The Frenchwomen will now take sizable leads into the pursuit on Sunday, February 11.
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