Today’s men’s sprint of the 8th round of the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon brought the first individual victory in the career of Simon Desthieux. The Frenchman, who had been silver in this race at the recent World Championships in Pokljuka, managed to stay ahead of Sebastian Samuelsson of Sweden and Arnd Pfeiffer of Germany. No medals went to none of the biathletes from the strong team of Norway: the best of them, Sturla Holm Laegried finished fourth.

Czech biathletes did not have a good race: Michal Krčmář finished 39th, which gave him meagre two points in the World Cup classification, and Jakub Štvrtecký (45th) and Ondřej Moravec (47th) only managed to qualify for the pursuit race tomorrow. 

The race winner, Simon Desthieux, had achieved five silver medals until today, but Saturday in Nové Město na Moravě found him in excellent shape. No misses at the shooting range, fast shooting (11th best of all biathletes), ninth fastest run time and rocket-like performance on the finish line (2nd best) combined and were decisive in the Frenchman’s victory. But it was the performance in the finish that made it happen for him, as Desthieux run into the last lap with the same time as Sebastian Samuelsson. Still, he passed the finish line 2.4 seconds ahead of the Swede!

“It is fantastic, a crazy day it has been! This is my first victory, I am as happy as can be. I have been waiting for this moment for such a long time – I have been in the World Cup circuit for nine seasons already. Yes, I was very close to the gold many a time, but I prevailed only today. Fantastic, really fantastic!” the Frenchman said, overjoyed. 

French joy was in stark contrast with Czech disappointment. “I missed both in prone and standing position. The failure at the shooting range is the main cause of today’s bad performance. To be in the top ten means perfect shooting for I am no Johannes Boe on the track…“ Michal Krčmář said. 

Author: Tomáš Hermann
Photo: Michal Jilka

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