Marte Olsbu Roeiseland and Quentin Fillon Maillet return to the BMW IBU World Cup after they lived through exhilarating highs and won five Olympic medals in Beijing 2022. They are in the commanding lead in the Total Score as the World Cup returns with the sprint, pursuit, and relays competitions in Kontiolahti.
Olsbu Roeiseland and Fillon Maillet strongly in lead
After winning five Olympic medals at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Marte Olsbu Roeiseland and Quentin Fillon Maillet travel to Kontiolahti week as the sporting heroes in Norway and France and with a great mission, to protect or extend the lead in the Total Score standings.
Olsbu Roeiseland has won in four pursuits and two sprints in the world cup before Beijing 2022. Just like Elvira and Hanna Oeberg, Olsbu Roeiseland skipped the Antholz-Anterselva week. With two results-drop at the end of the season, every won point will count towards the Total Score until the end of the season. Dzinara Alimbekava is currently second in the Total Score standings with 589 points. But with Russia and Belarus banned from the rest of the season due to the decisions related to the war in Ukraine, she will no longer compete in the 2021/2022 season. Marte has 88 points lead over Elvira, 164 over Lisa Theresa Hauser (the Austrian’s worst two results in Trimester 1 and 2 are 26th in the sprint of Hochfilzen and 29th in the mass start of Antholz-Anterselva; that accounts for only 19 points drop if these were to remain her worst finishes) and 169 over Hanna. Olsbu Roeiseland is also the sprint and pursuit Cup score leader.
Fillon Maillet’s pursuit gold in Beijing 2022 stretched his winning streak in this discipline to five in 2021/2022. With JT Boe opting to rest after four gold medals in Beijing and before the last three weeks of the season, Fillon Maillet’s odds to capture his maiden Total Score title enhanced. He has 135 points lead over his compatriot Emilien Jacquelin, 150 over Tarjei Boe (who decided to skip Kontiolahti week) and 152 over Sebastian Samuelsson. If one deducts 30 points from Fillon Maillet’s account for his two worst results of the season so far, he still has more than 100 points than anybody else.
Kontiolahti and its biathlon stadium sit on a hill amidst pine forests above Lake Hoeytaeinen, 15 km north of the university city of Joensuu in eastern Finland’s Karelia region. It hosted the IBU World Championships twice, most recently in 2015 and also in frigid 1999 when temperatures struggled to hit -20C. The usually cold temperatures mean the tracks are hard and fast. Most of the loops include the infamous “Wall,” an almost impossibly steep uphill that challenges the strongest athletes. The notoriously windy shooting range makes every competition at Kontiolahti exciting from start to finish.
Photo: IBU/C. Manzoni; IBU Archives