IBU Junior Cup Winners: Lou Jeanmonnot-Laurent and Martin Perrillat-Bottonet 

IBU Junior Cup Winners: Lou Jeanmonnot-Laurent and Martin Perrillat-Bottonet 

With the 2017-18 IBU Junior Cup season now completed, two very talented athletes, Lou Jeanmonnot-Laurent and Martin Perrillat-Bottonet were crowned as IBU Junior Cup Total Score winners.

Here is a closer look at how their title battles and what the future holds for the proud owners of the prestigious Crystal Globes. The past junior season was Jeanmonnot-Laurent’s first while it was Perrillat-Bottonet's last. However they certainly have something in common, the motivation to perform better than last season. 

“I wanted to have better races than in the last season of the Junior Cup, I was a little bit disappointed with my results, but I started the season with a blank score-sheet,” Jeanmonnot-Laurent said. At the first competitions in Obertilliach, biathlon fans saw that the French junior team could compete for the highest results. Among the leaders were the aforementioned Jeanmonnot-Laurent and Perrillat-Bottonet. very precise on the range.

Perrillat-Bottonet commented, “Our good performance so early in the season made us feel pretty confident.”

IBU Junior Cup Winners: Lou Jeanmonnot-Laurent and Martin Perrillat-Bottonet 

No Initial Thoughts About the Big Globe

Going into the season, neither Jeanmonnot-Laurent nor Perrillat-Bottonet expected to grab the Crystal Globe.  “I never thought that I could win the Crystal Globe.  All I wanted was to succeed in my final World Championship as a junior,”  Perrillat-Bottonet explained.

Jeanmonnot-Laurent added, “I didn’t think that I could win the overall trophy at all. For me, there were other young women who were very fast and very precise on the range and even if I was performing better than these athletes, I still knew that Myrtille Begue will definitely perform better than me. Back home in France, she was nearly always the winner. So, in my mind, the goal was just to fight for a place on the podium and not necessarily for the Crystal Globe.”

Last Stage Excitement

The two French athletes did not realize that they could win the overall title until the very end. For Perrillat-Bottonet this was in Pokljuka, where his worst result was 7th place. For Jeanmonnot-Laurent it was in Otepää, where she struggled to show what she describes as top

Perrillat-Bottonet explained, “I realized that I could win the big globe at the JOECH in Pokljuka. I was nervous at first, but after I succeeded in the first competition, it just gave me even more motivation to just run even better races. I was very stressed, but I knew that I could compete for the overall win."

Jeanmonnot-Laurent added her take. “I don’t really know why my results in Otepää were not so great; my training went well, I felt I was in good shape, and also the cold conditions were not a problem for me. I know that I’m a good skier on hard-snow, but it just didn’t really work out for me. In regards to the shooting, I felt really disappointed too. I can normally shoot very well, but I didn’t manage to shoot well at one of the competition highlights of the season. That result made me pretty crazy, but I am still a junior next year, so I will work hard to improve,” Both athletes praise their coaches for their success. “I trust my coaches absolutely 100%, so I just followed their advice throughout the season, they pushed me to keep working the whole season... Our coaches are really the best, without them this just wouldn’t be possible."

Tie for the Crystal Globe

By showing fantastic results at the YJWCH in Otepää another French athlete was really close to overtaking Jeanmonnot-Laurent and walking away with the IBU Junior Cup trophy, her roommate and good friend Myrtille Begue. After the final competition, they had same total score, 424 points. 

Jeanmonnot-Laurent came out on top. IBU Junior Cup Race Director, Arne Eidam explained, “We do have to look closely into the IBU event and competition rules to explain why Jeanmonnot-Laurent won and Begue did not. To be precise we referred to rule §, “Breaking of Ties in Standing.” There it states ‘… the best placed competitor or NF will be the one who has won more first places, and if there is still a tie, who has won the most second places, etc.’ As they both had one win each, we then had to count the second places, and it was there that Jeanmonnot-Laurent came out on top with her two second-place finishes."

IBU Junior Cup Winners: Lou Jeanmonnot-Laurent and Martin Perrillat-Bottonet 

However, for Jeanmonnot-Laurent there are two winners of the trophy. “I am not the winner, but rather we are the winners. Myrtille missed two Junior Cup competitions, due to the IBU Cup. She is very fast, a good shooter too."

Future is Bright 

Now it is time for the two French youngsters to go their separate ways, in pursuit of their dreams. Perrillat-Bottonet, now moving out of juniors has high hopes. “My goals for next season are; to be able to run IBU cups, and like everyone else I want to make the jump over to the World Cup level.  However, first I hope to be able to join the French B team.  I want to already show decent results next season."

While he will be fighting it out among the seniors, Jeanmonnot-Laurent is headed back to the IBU Junior Cup series. “I want to be selected for the IBU Junior Cup team, and try to defend the trophy. My biggest goal will be the Youth Junior World Championships, once again. I hope my ski time will improve and if I am good enough, maybe I’ll pick up some IBU Cups along the way." 

What these two French athletes are capable of in the future, only time will tell. They are already among the best junior athletes in the world... Maybe one day they will hold as many titles as Martin Fourcade and Marie Dorin Habert.