Loving the Crowd
Simon, celebrating with waves and fist pumps in the last 100 meters greatly enjoyed the boisterous crowd and atmosphere. “It is great here. Everyone is cheering; it is crazy. That is what I like in biathlon, a lot of fun but a very tough race.”
“There is a door open”
Regarding the last standing stage and final loop, “I just thought, ‘okay, there is a door open (when Braisaz-Bouchet missed twice) for me, so I need to shoot clean and fast.’ Not so clean but I think it was quite fast, so I took my chance. The last lap was just push, push again and again. I really wanted this win.”
Simon was driven by a comment from Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold before the competition. “She said, ‘I dreamed about you; that you were winning today.’ So, on the last loop, I said I had to go on the finish line first because Ingrid dreamed about it. It was crazy and I am really happy.”
Norway’s Tandrevold, with two penalties finished third, 44.4 seconds skiing a furious last loop after coming to the last standing stage in seventh, 1:07 back. Sweden’s Elvira Oeberg, with three penalties finished fourth, 53.8 seconds back. Lou Jeanmonnot of France with one penalty, finished fifth, 55.3 seconds back while Norway’s Karoline Offigstad Knotten finished sixth, one minute back.
The second competition day featured mild weather, by Oberhof standards: cloudy with calm winds leaving the wind flags completely flat. Accordingly, Braisaz-Bouchet easily cleaned the first prone with the also-perfect Elvira 30 seconds back. The sprint winner cleaned the second prone quickly after fumbling briefly with her rifle. Elvira matched going out 23 seconds back; Knotten led a group of five also clean, 38 seconds back.
Braisaz-Bouchet added to her lead before the first standing stage. She and Elvira missed a shot, opening the door for Simon, who moved to second, 10.5 seconds back.
The Yellow Bib flew around the next loop, stretching her lead by the last standing stage. She then missed twice by wide margins; Simon missed once, taking a 10-second lead into the last loop. Behind them Preuss, Jeanmonnot, Elvira and Tandrevold all cleaned chasing the last podium spot.
Simon pushed the last loop stretching her lead and sealing her first win of the season with a huge fist pump at the finish. Braisaz-Bouchet followed in second while Tandrevold won a last-kilometer battle with Elvira for third place.