Fillon Maillet’s Hat Tricks with Otepaeae Sprint Win

France’s Quentin Fillon Maillet, shooting clean burned up the last 3.3 km loop, overtaking Norway’s early leader Sturla Holm Laegreid to win the Otepaeae men’s 10 km sprint in 22:27.4. Fillon Maillet’s second consecutive sprint win plus his pursuit title last week gave the French star a Kontiolahti/ Otepää hat trick, the first of his career. Laegreid also shot clean but finished second, 7.2 seconds back. Germany’s Benedikt Doll matched the top two on the range, in third place, 11.1 seconds back.

Header icon2022 BMW IBU World Cup Otepaeae Men's Sprint

Confident Fillon Maillet’s Tenth Win

Fillon Maillet, filled with confidence, picked up his tenth win this season, further added to his iron grip on both the World Cup Total Score and the World Cup Sprint Score. “It maybe, looked easy but it was not. I am very happy; again, a very good race. I was very confident before the race. I know I could stay focused like in Kontiolahti, not thinking about the other athletes. Clean shooting, very good skiing. I do not know when all of this good way stops because it is so perfect. I never expected to win again today…It was a victory again; it was perfect. It is good for the big Globe, good for the Sprint Globe…very good.”


Despite his good last loop, the winner admitted that fatigue is catching up with him, “Right now, I feel a little bit tired. After each good race, you have the interviews after the podium, mixed zone and press conference, I need to give a lot of energy at each race. I do not get a very good recovery and I feel a little bit tired.”

Like the top three, the next three finishers all went 10-for-10, with Laegreid’s teammate Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen in fourth place, 16.3 seconds back, Germany’s Roman Rees in fifth, 29.6 seconds back and Lithuania’s Vytautas Strolia in sixth, 30.1 seconds back.

Otepaeae: BMW IBU World Cup Debut

After twice hosting the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships, IBU Open European Championships, and IBU Cups, as well as the IBU YJWCH, today Otepaeae made the big jump with the men’s sprint kicking off the first-ever BMW IBU World Cup in Estonia. Over the years, the Tehvandi Sports Center has been continually upgraded preparing for its big debut and with two training days under their belts, the eighty-six-man field was ready to tackle the challenging tracks and a shooting range well-known as a windy tough place to shoot. The conditions today were perfect for a sprint, almost spring-line with bright sunshine and the temperature just above freezing and the wind staying away.

Laegreid Sets Bar High

Laegreid was among the first to clean the prone stage, taking an early 18-second lead and setting the bar high for his rivals Christiansen came to the range as fast as his teammate, shot clean with a good cadence and left just three seconds back. The Yellow Bib and Martin Ponsiluoma then followed up with their own clean stage to move 5 and 7 seconds off the lead. Doll then leapfrogged the pack, cleaning just 2.5 seconds slower than Laegreid, with Lesser doing the same, at 3.3 seconds back.

Tight Battle in standing

Laegreid came to standing, fired off three quick perfect shots, hesitated and shot the last two with care but just as perfect to go 28 seconds up. Christiansen shot extremely fast in standing, hit all five targets but remained five seconds behind his younger teammate. Fillon Maillet did the same, now three seconds back. Ponsiluoma missed his last shot, dropping him from the leading group. Doll cleaned standing, putting him 3.8 seconds behind Christiansen. It was suddenly a four-man tight battle for the podium.

Fillon Maillet’s Torrid Last Loop

The Norwegian took his lead into the finish, but Fillon Maillet was gaining ground. By the 7.9 km split, the Yellow/Red Bib was just 2.5 seconds from the lead with Christiansen at 9 seconds. However, Fillon Maillet was on fire, with a four-second lead with 500 meters to go, he set a torrid pace into the finish, to take his second consecutive sprint win, 7.2 seconds faster than Laegreid.

Laegreid, “Second place is like a victory”

Laegreid was pleased to finish second today. “Second place today seems like a victory. No one can beat Quentin, the legend. We tried our best but all-in-all, second place, I am happy with that.” Regarding his return to clean shooting after three penalties in the Kontiolahti sprint, he added, “I tried to let the shots go more automatically, just forget about everything and tried not to think. I also think the shooting range her fits me well, because you get to lower the pulse a lot and you can do your rhythm as normal. That is what I am good at.”

Doll Moves up to Third Place

Doll, like Fillon Maillet had a strong last loop, getting almost even with Christiansen at the 7.9 km mark, then moving five seconds up at the 9.5 km split before crossing in third place.

Getting in the Flow

Doll felt he needed some time to get in the flow, but once there it was a very good day. “You need to make a really good warm-up. With this really hard uphill (at the start), it is really hard to get in the race…In the end, it was a really flowing track and you had a lot of time to get good preparation for shooting. You saw it in the shooting times; they shoot really fast and really often with five hits…I did not feel that comfortable in training especially in standing shooting. But in the competition, I got a really focus on the hit and said, ‘when it is black, you shoot, when it is not black you don’t shoot and it worked really fine.”

Photos: IBU/Hendrik Osula

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