Justine Braisaz-Bouchet wins Lenzerheide Pursuit

Despite facing three penalty rounds, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet successfully defended her lead in the Lenzerheide Women's 10 km Pursuit, securing her second consecutive victory. The French biathlete outpaced her compatriot Julia Simon by nearly half a minute, showcasing her resilience and skill on the course. Braisaz-Bouchet's back-to-back wins have propelled her to second place in the World Cup Total Score.

Braisaz-Bouchet showcased her dominance in the race, leading from the start to the finish. Despite a momentary setback when she missed a shot in her final visit to the shooting range, her lead over Julia Simon narrowed to a mere 7.5 seconds. The spectators eagerly anticipated a thrilling French-French duel for victory. Still, Braisaz-Bouchet left no room for the defending champion of last year's World Cup Total Score in the final two kilometers, securing her second win of the week.

"That was an amazing crowd today."

Justine was beaming after the run, emphasizing how good she felt in Lenzerheide. "I am really pleased to race here in Switzerland. It was a tough race, but I managed to stay focused on myself. My daughter is here; she brings me luck. I dreamed about sprint and pursuit win, it means a lot to me."

With today's triumph, Braisaz-Bouchet has achieved victories in all four individual disciplines, a grand slam that only the best can accomplish.

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For Julia Simon, second place in today's race is her first podium of the season. The 27-year-old missed twice during her third shooting. Despite this, she still had Braisaz-Bouchet within sight before the final lap. However, her teammate turned out to be too strong. A sensational third place was taken by Marit Ishol Skogan. The Norwegian biathlete secured her inaugural podium in only her seventh individual start, successfully fending off Franziska Preuss' challenges and distancing the German competitor by three seconds. Skogan's remarkable performance adds an exciting twist to the season's narrative, showcasing the emergence of new talent on the biathlon stage.

Despite podium finishes in the sprint, Lisa Vittozzi and Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold could not maintain their position in the Top 10 in pursuit. The Italian missed five times; the Norwegian ran seven penalty rounds. Both were classified next to each other in 14th and 15th place. However, Tandrevold held on to her lead in the World Cup Total Score. As the competitors gear up for Sunday's mass start, she maintains a 35-point lead over Braisaz-Bouchet, setting the stage for an intriguing battle for the yellow jersey at the end of the calendar year.


Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni

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