Victory, at the best time. Twice this season, Emilien Jacquelin had come close to the first success of his career in the World Cup. In vain. In Grand-Bornand, on December 22, the Norwegian Johannes Boe had deprived him of this pleasure during the mass start before Martin Fourcade did the same on January 10 during the Oberhof sprint. In other words, the two best biathletes of the last ten years had joined together, involuntarily, to block the emergence of the 24-year-old Grenoblois. But its time finally came this Sunday, during the continuation of the World Championships in Antholz-Anterselva (Italy). The perfect timing.
A success that is all the more impressive since the Frenchman only started sixth and had to defeat in a breathtaking last lap the "maximum leader" of the discipline, Johannes Boe. At the head, one kilometer from the finish line, Jacquelin made a breathtaking end of the course, never leaving the Norwegian the slightest opportunity to pass. Cleverly, he closed each door but never failed to play fair. Quite simply, he was the strongest in this chase which he had already lit up with his entire rifle class in his hand with a perfect 20 out of 20, enough to provoke the admiration of his compatriot Simon Desthieux (8th) at the microphone of the channel L'Equipe: “Emilien is incredible, it is enormous what he has done today, and this season overall. He has an incredible punch, he is full of qualities, he is someone you can count on for a lot of years. ”
"I knew that if anyone was able to cope with Johannes, it was him."Martin Fourcade
Martin Fourcade wanted to be more prophetic when commenting on the feat of his young roommate: "I knew that if someone was able to face Johannes, it was him." Author of two marksmanship, the five-time Olympic champion failed to convert his bronze sprint medal to a new podium. Like Quentin Fillon Maillet, brilliant second in the sprint but relegated to 7th place on Sunday due to six marksmanship. But this French team has many cartridges to shine and during this pursuit, Jacquelin made a brilliant demonstration, he whose potential was not in doubt but who had to wait this season to confirm it with a first podium in the Cup of the world - 3rd in the Hochfilzen chase on December 14 - which acted as a trigger.
Since then, Jacquelin has not touched the ground, except for a few road trips sometimes, a sign that he still has some room for improvement. Small flaws completely invisible on Sunday during its first world title. "It's crazy, I knew I had everything to do well today but from there to win the gold," he said at the microphone of L'Equipe. This morning, I went for a shooting session to get into it, it was the first time I did that. You have to believe that it paid off with this 20 out of 20. In the end, I tried to play tactically, like on a bike, to trap the opponent while controlling him. It's incredible." And the young biathlete concludes: “It is a childhood dream that I have just realized. Since my 5 years, I want to be world champion, imitate Raphaël Poirée, Martin Fourcade. I don't have their winners yet, but it's already a great step forward. ” And not the last, no doubt.
- Biathlon Worlds: Jacquelin wins gold in pursuit, Fourcade 4th