Tag Archives: Fangmeng Cheng

Season Preview 2020/21: Men

Welcome back to the (seemingly) eternal struggle between Norway and France to see who will win the men’s big crystal globe this season. Can you remember the last time someone from another country won it? Me neither but apparently it was Michael Greis in the 2006/07 season. However since 1992 only Greis, Mikael Lofgren, Sven Fischer (x2) and Vladimir Drachev have been able to wrestle the Overall title from the hands of the French and Norwegians.

Mostly it was shared out between Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Raphael Poiree and then of course Martin Fourcade and Johannes Thingnes Boe. This season doesn’t look like it will be any different.

Norway remain favourites to win again this season with Johannes. He has won the last two Overall Titles and last season he even had two weeks off and still won! If he stays illness and injury free he will almost certainly make it three in a row.

Picking up the French baton from Fourcade is Quentin Fillon Maillet. QFM finished third in the overall last time round. He has a lot of experience and is a consistent podium finisher. However if he is going to beat Boe he will have to start winning a lot more races and of course start beating Johannes regularly.

Emilien Jacquelin also has a chance of defeating Boe. He showed last season what he is capable of but needs to show a lot more consistency if he wants to get near the Norwegian superstar. He is the youngest of our challengers but what he lacks in experience he makes up for with his tactical ability in the races.

Simon Desthieux was 6th last season and is yet to win a World Cup race. He is a great biathlete but an outsider for the overall. He could make the top 3 in the total score this year though if he can get his maiden victory and build up his confidence.

Don’t worry though Johannes doesn’t have to fight the French alone. He has his big brother to back him up. Last season was the first time in a while that we saw the old Tarjei Boe back. After many seasons ruined by illness he was on great form and was 4th in the Total Score. Although he lacks the ski speed and impressive results of his brother he can still help him by finishing ahead of the French biathletes. We could even see a Boe 1-2 in the Overall.

The Norwegians also have Johannes Dale and Vetle Christiansen to even up the score. Dale will surely take his first podium this season and with his excellent shooting Christiansen should add to his one World Cup win so far.

The only other biathletes in the Top 10 last season were Alexander Loginov (7th) and Bendikt Doll (8th). Although capable of winning races it’s unlikely that either will seriously compete for the title.

This must be the season that we see Sebastian Samuelsson win his first race on the World Cup. He hasn’t been able to recapture the form he had in PyeongChang in 2018 but maybe it will come back this season. Michal Krcmar is also waiting for his first taste of the top step of the podium and Fabien Claude will hope to better his career best result of third.

Other names to keep an eye on are Norway’s Sturla Holm Laegreid who turned up on the World Cup at the end of last season and immediately scored a top 10 finish. Nikita Porshnev also got some impressive results with 11th his personal best last year. China’s Fangming Cheng got a top finish of 16th and will be gunning for the top 10 too with plenty of encouragement from coach OEB.

It won’t be the same this season with the venue changes and lack of fans but it should still be exciting out on the tracks. All the evidence points to another big globe for Johannes but don’t forget this is 2020 – literally anything could happen!

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Nove Mesto 2020: The Sprints!

It was a very different Nove Mesto which greeted our biathletes for the Sprint races. There are no fans here due to corona virus so the stand are all lying empty. Some people have complained about it but they would complain more if they caught it, sneezed on their grandmother and killed her so we just have to get on with it.

One person who wasn’t complaining was Denise Herrmann. The silence in the stadium helped her hit 10/10 and with her fast skiing no one could beat her in the sprint. Anais Bescond also hit 10/10 to take second place. It was great shooting considering the windy conditions.

Third place went to home favourite and bib23 wearer Marketa Davidova with 9/10. It was a shame for her not having the huge Czech crowd there to cheer for her podium place.

Mari Eder was 4th with her best result for a while, Tiril Eckhoff was 5th despite 2 misses and Hanna Oeberg was 6th with 1 miss. Dorothea Wierer was 24th meaning her lead in the total score is getting smaller!

Elvira Oeberg got her personal best in 8th with 10/10 as did Regina Oja in 20th with 9/10. Fanqi Meng improved ger PB to 38th with 10/10 and Erika Jaenkae got a massive PB in 46th with 9/10.

In the men’s race it was speed that won the day with Johannes Boe hitting 10/10 and winning by nearly 23 seconds! Quentin Fillon Maillet was second also hitting 10/10 but wasn’t fast enough for the win. Third went to Tarjei Boe who also shot the perfect score to complete the Boe-dium!

Home boy Michal Krcmar was 4th and Jakov Fak 5th both with 10/10 and Martin Fourcade was 6th with 1 miss and two broken poles!

Tero Seppala got his personal best in 7th with 10/10. Sturla Laegreid made his World Cup debut for Norway, hit 10/10 and finished 13th! Fangming Cheng got his PB in 16th with 10/10 and another debutant 19-year-old Tommaso Giacomel of Italy hit 10/10 to finish 27th! Said Khalili got his best result so far in 44th despite 2 misses.

Special mention for Jakub Stvrtecky who fell, got caught in the nets at the side of the tracks and had to use the spare rifle but still hit 10/10!

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Oestersund 2019: The Individuals!

Mon Dieu, Zut alors, tres bien, restaurant and other French words!!! What a race in the Oestersund Individual for the French Men’s team! They took the top four places in one race which hasn’t been done since 2009.

Leading them was Martin Fourcade who took his first win of the season shooting 19/20. He looks in much better shape than last year thank goodness! Second place went to Simon Desthieux who also shot 19/20 but was 12.7 seconds behind Fourcade. Skiing like the wind in third was Quentin Fillon Maillet who missed 3 targets!

Fourth went to Emilien Jacquelin which is also his personal best with 2 misses. In fact 5 of the the top 7 were French with Fabien Claude coming home in 7th place with 18/20. We won’t mention the 6th member of the team though! We will mention the wax team however who prepared some excellent skis which worked really well in warming conditions.

Benjamin Weger had an excellent race in 5th and Tarjei Boe was 6th. Johannes Boe looked tired today but still finished 10th shooting 18/20. I hope he hasn’t got what Martin had last season!

There were only two men who shot clean and they were Anton Babikov in 14th and Krasimir Anev in 15th. China’s Fangmeng Cheng got a huge personal best in 22nd improving by around 60 places!!! I wonder if it has anything to do with his new coach! 😉

Jakub Stvrtecky was 32nd getting a personal best with 3 misses. Junior Champion Alex Cisar from Slovenia made his World Cup debut at 19 years old and was 92nd.

Unluckily for me I used up all my french words for the men but I should have saved some as the Women’s Individual also went to France. Justine Braisaz who had an awful sprint race on Sunday was fantastic missing 2 shots but still winning by just over 11 seconds. She came from nowhere to take her second World Cup win.

The only woman in the whole field to shoot 20/20 was Yuliia Dzhima and it was good enough for second place. Julia Simon got another podium for France and a personal best for herself in third with 2 misses.

Ingrid Tandrevold was 4th, Larisa Kuklina 5th with her personal best and Lena Haecki was 6th despite 3 misses.

Dorothea Wierer finished 7th, two places ahead of teammate and rival Lisa Vittozzi who was 9th.

There were also personal bests for Tamara Voronina in 14th, Grete Gaim in 27th and Anastassiya Kondratyeva in 34th.

Next races in Oestersund are the men’s relay on Saturday and the women’s relay on Sunday. Man the Swedes must really love a relay as they are getting 4 this week! 🙂

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