Anais Bescond/Emilien Jacquelin Duo wins Pokljuka Single Mixed Relay
The French duo of Anais Bescond and Emilien Jacquelin won the single mixed relay this afternoon when Bescond outshot her rivals in the final standing stage to seal the 38:33.4 victory. The pair used just five spare rounds in their win. Second went to Estonia’s Regina Oja and Rene Zahkna, with three spares, 5.9 seconds back. Longtime Austrian teammates Lisa Theresa Hauser and Simon Eder, with six spares finished third, 12.1 seconds back.
“Pretty Great Job”
Jacquelin commented on his first mixed single mixed relay. “Today with Anais it was amazing. It was really tough on the skis because of the snow because it snowed overnight and the track was a little bit slower than the other days. In shooting, it was great battle with Vetle Christiansen. After that Anais made a pretty great job; her standing shooting was amazing so thanks to her!”
Single Mix “Something Special”
Bescond just a day after her first individual podium in almost 2 years was again beaming after the win and another podium. “It is super nice and especially in teamwork. I really like it in mixed. It is something special because we have a really strong men’s team in France. It’s really nice to be a part of these nice feelings and power.”
Canada finished fourth, with six spares, 16 seconds back. Ukraine, with a penalty and four spares finished fifth, 28.8 seconds back while Switzerland with seven spares finished sixth, 40.7 seconds back.
France and Norway
It was another excellent day for competition at Pokljuka, cloudy, with moderate temperatures and again virtually windless. The first leg saw Ukraine lead four other teams, all shooting clean, at the tag within four seconds. Bescond quickly took the lead just as she left the stadium. However at the prone stage, Karolin Knotten put Norway in the lead while everyone in the top group used a spare round. The French veteran retook the lead with a steady perfect standing stage to tag 2 seconds ahead Oja, followed by Canada and Norway, 12 seconds back.
Austria Moves Up
Jacquelin pulled slightly away from Zahkna after the tag but Christiansen moved up to the third spot as they came to their second prone stage. The Norwegian cleaned in five while Jacquelin needed a spare; they left together. The top two both used spares in standing but Christiansen was faster, going to the exchange with Knotten with a five-second lead over Jacquelin. Eder moved Austria up to third as he tagged Lisa Theresa Hauser for the final exchange.
Last Standing Stage to Bescond
Bescond and Knotten both used spares in prone, again leaving with the French team 2 seconds ahead while Hauser went 5-for-5 to move to 6 seconds back. Hauser moved into second before the last standing stage.
The French star cleaned closed her five targets with ease, going out with an 18 second lead over Hauser and Oja. Bescond was unchallenged for the win while there was a battle for the next two spots. Oja pulled away in the last downhill to take second while Austria took the last podium spot.
101st place to the Podium
Zahkna a bit stunned with his team’s accomplishment commented on Estonia’s first-ever relay podium. “We are not used to this. It was the first time we ever put our bibs back on (after the competition). It was quit an intense race today. The gaps were quite small today. Every spare round could change the position. Regina as always shoots well but today skied unbelievably. I am honored to be here. It is indescribable…I was place 101 in the individual; today I am in second. This is biathlon. It is unbelievable what you can change in two days!”
Photos: IBU/Petr Slavik