Simon Doubles Up with Pursuit Gold

Julia Simon made it two in a row, dominating the IBU World Championships Women’s 10 km Pursuit for her second individual Gold medal and third consecutive this week after anchoring the winning French mixed relay win. Simon’s fast 19-for-20 shooting keyed her 29:54.8 win. She came to the final standing stage all alone after outshooting all of her opponents, quickly disposing of the final five targets, then smiling and gesturing to her coach as she left for a victory last loop.

“I was really stressed”

Simon admitted winning three Gold medals felt “like I am in a dream right now. It is crazy. I was very stressed before the race, of course always. But this time it was special, more stress, more electricity. It was the first time I won a sprint and pursuit after; first time I started in front in a pursuit. It was a big challenge, but I am very happy. I just focused on myself. I know Justine is very fast on skis. I know I am not as strong as she is on skis, but I can shoot fast. I decided to try this and stay focused on the skis, not too fast in the beginning because in the last lap I need some energy. I think I did one of the best races of my life. It is really crazy to do this in World Championships.”

Last standing, “I did not want a mistake:

Regarding the last standing stage, she added, thinking, “ ‘Okay, you are in front by 40 seconds, but you have to shoot clean.’ I did not want a mistake because I was not focused. I tried to stay focused and not shoot as fast as I can. I think it was a good race!”

Italy's Lisa Vittozzi, despite a last stage penalty won the Silver medal, 46.3 seconds back. French Sprint Silver medalist Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, with four penalties, won the Bronze medal, 49.3 seconds back.

Simon’s teammate Sophie Chauveau, with three penalties finished fourth for the second consecutive day, 57.6 seconds back. Hanna Oeberg of Sweden, with two penalties, moved from eighth at the start to fifth place, 1:16.6 back. Germany’s Franziska Preuss sixth, with one penalty, 1:24.7 back.

French Duo Leads

The women’s pursuit featured moderate rain falling, with +7 on the thermometer, dampening the wind. The Sprint Gold and Silver medalists skied into the first prone together. Like Friday, Simon shot clean and fast; Braisaz-Bouchet cleaned much slower. The second prone found both with a penalty. They remained 1-2, with Chauveau third, steps ahead of clean-shooting Hanna and Vittozzi.

Together in the first standing, Simon blew through the five targets; Braisaz-Bouchet missed twice bumping the perfect Vittozzi to second.

Header icon2024 BMW IBU World Championships Nove Mesto na Morave Women's 10 km Pursuit

Last Stage Perfection; Huge Smile

Simon’s last five last standing targets went down; she exited with a huge smile on her face; shook hands in the last loop and bowed to the crowd as she finished.

Photos: IBU/Vianney Thibaut, Nordic Focus

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