French biathletes win single mixed relay in Pokljuka

Pokljuka – France’s Antonin Guigonnat and Julia Simon are the winners of Thursday’s single mixed relay event as part of the Biathlon World Championships in Slovenia’s Pokljuka. The Slovenian pair of Jakov Fak and Polona Klemenčič were 13th.

The silver medal went to Johannes Thingnes Boe and Tiril Eckhoff of Norway, and Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson and Hanna Öberg won bronze.

The fight for the gold medal was fought by Italy, France, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine and Norway, with Italy leading the race after the first half.

Italy’s Dorothea Wierer had a mishap in the last round of shooting, which allowed Eckhoff and Simon to break out, and the latter was faster in the concluding spring, preventing the Swede from winning a fourth gold medal at world championships.

Norway were 2.8 seconds behind the winners, while Sweden’s Öberg crossed the finish line 22.6 seconds after the French.

“The feeling is unbelievable. We both have had a good race, we have ran excellently,” said Guigonnat, while his compatriot Simon added that “I only had to finish what had been started. It was very tough in the last lap, but I’m very happy.”

Slovenia were far from contention, as Fak struggled with shooting and Klemenčič not being competitive in the running part of the race.

“My appearance was not excellent, but it was good, if I speak for myself. I was already so exhausted at the last shooting that I could barely stand on my feet. Of course I wanted to hit all targets quickly, but it didn’t work,” said Fak.

Friday is a day off in Pokljuka, and the World Championships competitions continue on Saturday with the men’s and women’s relays.