Head 2 Head
Quentin Fillon Maillet is one of the “young guns” on the French team that can threaten the podium on any given day. He moved from the IBU Cup to the World Cup squad just before the 2013 BMW IBU World Cup in Le Grand Bornand and has been there ever since. The 2014-15 season was important for the young Fillon Maillet in two ways. First, he became a regular part of the French relay, usually running the second or third leg. However most importantly, he picked up the first individual World Cup podium of his career, with a photo-finish second place in the Ruhpolding mass start; that result led to an eventual top 30 of the World Cup Total Score (23rd) for the first time in his career. Later that year, he won his first-ever IBU WCH medal as part of the Bronze-medal French men’s relay.
That breakthrough year led to two more podiums, an IBU WCH Mixed Relay Gold medal in Oslo and a career best 12th in the Total Score. In the 2016-17 season, the now veteran World Cup competitor added his third podium (of five in his career at the time) in the mass start at Antholz. He was unable to improve his Total Score ranking, mainly due his at times erratic shooting and missed competitions.
The now 26-year-old started the 2017-18 season with a hot hand by shooting clean in a 20K individual for the first time in his career and finishing second at Östersund. He backed that up with a 19-for-20 third place in the pursuit the same week. He added another podium before the season ended, finishing 8th in the World Cup Total Score.
What do you remember about your first biathlon competition?
My first competition was at Bessans in the French Alps in 2006, it was a big step to make my race with a rifle at 50m. But it was a great memory as we were a group of friends who felt very good, and my father was the coach.
When did you realize that you could be good at this sport?
It was in 2008 after winning the overall French Championship that I thought that this sport really pleases me; I had capacity and I want to try achieve at a high level.
What is your routine to get ready on race day; is it always the same?
Eat, walk / run, eat, stress and race ... nothing special. It's after the race that it's more interesting.
Given the option, would you rather run, rollerski, cycle…or?
Without hesitation biking, I love this sport that I practice regularly as part of all preparations (of course less than rollerskiing).
What do you do very well?
Rifle making, for the last 7 years I have raced with a stock that I made myself.
Describe a perfect day off from training or competition?
Every summer after a big training camp, I go with my friends to the south of France for a relaxing week.
In a city, on the beach or in the mountains on your perfect holiday; any place special that you love?
After the season, I go for the warmth and an exotic landscape, but I love the mountains the rest of the time.
What are the hardest and easiest things about biathlon?
Ski fast, shoot well; the key to success is simple… Ski fast, shoot well, the simplest things are also the hardest!
Fillon Maillet has one unique but totally appropriate hobby for a biathlete: he makes his own rifle stocks.