After winning the individual, the men’s relay and the mixed relay, Sturla Holm Laegreid concluded the 2021 Biathlon Worlds with the mass start. The Norwegian is ahead of his compatriot Johannes Dale and Quentin Fillon Maillet, who brings one last medal to the Blues.
Sturla Holm Laegreid will remain the great man of the 2021 Biathlon Worlds. The Norwegian has, in fact, finished as he started, on the top step of the podium. Sacred world champion in the mixed relay, the individual then the men’s relay, the native of Bærum added a fourth gold medal to his collection the day after his 24th birthday during a mass start on which he did not. hardly any mistakes. Installed from the start in the leading group, Sturla Holm Laegreid took advantage of an expeditious first lying shot to emerge in front of Lukas Hofer, Jakov Fak and Emilien Jacquelin. During the second round of the 2500m loop, the tempo was increased by the Italian who could not however take down the Norwegian, the Slovenian and the French before showing up for the second prone shot. It was then that the world pursuit champion had a very difficult time. While Jakov Fak, Sturla Holm Laegreid or Sebastian Samuelsson did not tremble in the face of the targets, the Grenoblois completely missed out. His five bullets passed very close to the target but never blanked them. The result was first of all incomprehension, then dejection at the time of making five penalty laps and finally the desire to do well after starting again in last place two and a half minutes behind the leader.
Laegreid accelerated when he wanted
This second prone shot allowed a group of five biathletes, Jakov Fak, Sturla Holm Laegreid, Sebastian Samuelsson, Simon Eder and Arnd Peiffer to break away. At 45 seconds after a fault with each lying shot, Quentin Fillon Maillet set out on the hunt to believe in a podium, he who finished three times in fourth place at these 2021 Worlds. In front, Sturla Holm Laegreid did not forced his pace on this third round as the first standing shot made a new selection, the group of six being reduced to three elements, only Jakov Fak and and Simon Eder managing to follow the Norwegian. Behind, Quentin Fillon Maillet was as impeccable as he was quick against the targets to come out in seventh place behind a disturbed Tarjei Boe. Indeed, the Norwegian experienced a target problem on his second prone shot, losing time to find a free position. The Norwegian team immediately lodged a complaint, which could allow Tarjei Boe to rise in the hierarchy after the fact. At the forefront, sensing the threat of her rivals, Sturla Holm Laegreid decided to put the watts on the skis, regaining the launch pad with a lead of just over eight seconds, a small mattress before the last passage in front of targets.
Laegreid not worried, Fillon Maillet finished very strong
It was then that the Norwegian experienced his only real fear of this mass start. Indeed, one of its five bullets did not drop the targets. Forced to take a penalty lap, Sturla Holm Laegreid however saw Jakov Fak and Simon Eder do the same… unlike Quentin Fillon Maillet and Johannes Dale. The French and the Norwegian, respectively 10 and 17 seconds off the podium, attacked on the skis, making the junction with the Slovenian and the Austrian in less than a kilometer before leaving them behind. While Sturla Holm Laegreid was able to savor her fourth world title in peace, there was no battle for the silver and bronze medals. In the final race, Johannes Dale was strongest for second place but Quentin Fillon Maillet did not let Simon Eder come back and climb to the podium after missing it so often. Simon Desthieux took 13th place with three shooting faults while Antonin Guigonnat, who had fouled four times, finished 17th. Emilien Jacquelin, for his part, made a show against the targets despite his last place at seven minutes. A final race which confirms the dominance of Norway, which won fourteen medals, including seven gold. France, with seven medals including two titles, finished second.