Tag Archives: Marine Bolliet

Spring Snapshot 2016!

spring16

Seriously – you try and take a couple of months holiday from biathlon to refresh the mind and get excited again for a new season but it won’t let you! There is no escape! Here is a snapshot of just some of the things that happened in April and May in the world of biathlon.

So obviously the biggest news story was that the Biathlon23 Awards 2015/16 broke all records to become the most read post on my blog!!! Less exciting but equally important was of course the news that Old-sorry-Ole Einar Bjoerndalen will continue competing until the Olympics in 2018 or maybe even forever! There is no stopping that man. Good news for men’s biathlon but he has managed to ruin the upcoming women’s season by impregnating former KGB operative Darya Domracheva and robbing us of her presence until probably January. How dare he! After the announcement that Kaisa Makarinen also intends to compete until 2018 (while building a house at the same time!) we won’t get to see her go head to head with Dasha for a while longer.

Dasha isn’t the only one expecting a baby though. Magdalena Neuer with her customary speed is having her second child and Poland’s Weronika Nowakowska is pregnant with twins.

Gabriela Soukalova changed her name by 1 letter, not just for fun of course, she got married to Petr Koukal making her Koukalova! Dmitry Malyshko also married in the Spring break. Congratulations all round! 🙂

With all that good news we also have some bad news too. Klaus Siebert, former German biathlete and coach of Germany, China and Belarus, died after a long battle with cancer. Two Ukrainian biathletes Artem Tyshchenko and Snizhana Tisyeyeva were involved in a serious car crash on the 2nd of May. Thankfully Tisyeyeva is out of intensive care after being treated for burns and Tyschenko was released from hospital after a head injury.

Tyshchenko was again in the news when he had his suspension for doping lifted as did Eduard Latypov as their samples were consistent with having stopped taking Meldonium before it was banned. This wasn’t the case for Romania’s Eva Tofalvi and Olga Abramova who also tested positive for the drug. All four cases are still on going.

Krystyna Guzik has a shoulder injury which needs surgery and means she will be out for 2 months.

In lighter news all the biathletes were off on their holidays and were making us all jealous with their social media pictures. Martin Fourcade went to Morocco, brother Simon went to Mauritius and Reunion. Laura Dahlmeier chose a nice relaxing holiday climbing in the Himalayas! Dominik Windisch took a little European road trip. Dorothea Wierer went to the Caribbean. Johannes Boe went to London and Klemen Bauer turned up at the World Snooker Final in Sheffield. I can’t go through everyone but I am sure they all had nice breaks!

There has also been some changes in the coaching department with the news that Siegfried Mazet was leaving the French team. It was no secret where he was going and he is now the shooting coach for Norway’s men who also announced Egil Kristiansen as their ski coach. France have replaced Mazet with Franck Badiou. Elsewhere Alfred Eder returns to the Belarusian women’s team, Valeriy Medvedtsev is the Russian Women’s new coach, Finland’s new coach is Antti Leppavuori and Juraj Sanitra takes charge of the Ukranian men’s team. Thomas Fusko is the new Slovak biathlon President and Erlend Slokvik has the job for Norway.

There have also been some retirements from the sport. Canadians Zina Kocher, Scott Perras and Audrey Vaillancourt have all decided to end their biathlon careers. They are joined by Americans Annelise Cook and Hannah Dreissigacker. Also retiring are Italy’s Christian De Lorenzi and Christian Martinelli, German Andi Birnbacher, Ivan Tcherazov of Russia, Austria’s Fritz Pinter, Marine Bolliet of France and Natayla Burdyga who is retiring for the second time!

To be fair I have probably forgotten many other things that happened but as Ross said to Rachel, “WE WERE ON A BREAK!”

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Solo Soulié!

soulie

What a season Laure Soulié has been having! In Ruhpolding she achieved her two best results ever on the World Cup finishing 22nd in the Pursuit and an incredible 9th in the Individual. These result also meant she qualified for the Olympics in Sochi. It seems that being Andorran is working out better than being French for Soulie.

Born in Andorra la Vella in Andorra on the 28th of April 1987, Laure originally competed for France through her French mother. This was mainly due to the fact that there was no Andorran biathlon team to compete for at the time. She studied Sports studies in the French Alps and went on to win a bronze medal for France in the Youth/Junior World Championships in Presque Isle in 2006.To this day her best friends remain from the French team, Marie-Laure Brunet and Marine Boillet. She is also lucky enough to be able to continue training with the French women’s top team.

However in she was offered the chance by her home country Andorra to compete for them and so became their only biathlete. An easy decision to make but maybe a difficult one to live with. We all know the struggles that small nations can have in terms of funding and facilities and so it is not as easy as it might have been to stay with France who have more athletes, coaches and sponsors to work with.

It seems so far that this decision has paid off. A fantastic season this year has seen Laure claim her first ever Top 10 result which is a big step up for an athlete whose previous best result was 26th and most of her other finishes were outside the TOP 30. It isn’t an easy feat in biathlon to make it into the Top 10 especially if you are the only biathlete from your country. Hopefully these performances will inspire the young people of Andorra to become more involved in the sport. After her qualification for the Sochi Olympics they definitely have a great role model to look up to.

She also had a great role model as her brother Francois Soulie represented Andorra in the Olympics in cross country skiing. Her Olympics however didn’t go as well as her form suggested they might. She finished 67th in the Sprint in Sochi and 48th in the Individual.
She has done remarkably well though because it’s difficult to be your country’s sole representative. She is lucky to still enjoy the support of the French team but she has proved that it’s not so bad being Solo Soulie!

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No Sn-Oberhof!

oberhof

Well the World Cup is back with a bang!(and I don’t just mean from the rifles!)No snow, fog and rain,tough tracks and a difficult range made Oberhof a great stop on the tour.Emil Hegle Svendsen and Darya Domracheva both decided that now was the time to show their form winning the Sprint and Pursuit races on Friday and Saturday. Svendsen was coming off the back of a strong shooting performance in the Schalke event over the Christmas break and it seems taking WC3 off in Annecy was a good move. In fact I think it’s his plan to also skip Anholtz. His shooting and skiing are looking really good and he seems fresher and sharper than Martin Fourcade at the moment.

His big competition in the first 2 races in fact came from Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. A strong skiing performance in the Sprint meant he only lost out on first place by 0.4 of a second and 2 costly missed shots in the last standing shoot in the Pursuit meant he missed another top spot which should have been his 94th World Cup win. You would think Svendsen might have given him the victory – he is after all Emil Skywalker to Ole Wan Kenobi – Ole having mentored and helped him as a youngster! How ungrateful!;-)

Martin Fourcade took 3rd in both those races but his shooting wasn’t as good as usual and a planned break from Ruhpolding is looking like a good decision. Elsewhere in the men’s races we saw exceptional stuff in the Sprint from Artem Pyrma from the Ukraine and Kauri Koiv from Estonia who finished 4th and 5th respectively both shooting clear and getting their best results ever. The foggy and rainy conditions may have helped them but they deserve huge credit for pulling off those results in such difficult circumstances. It was good to see Sweden’s Magnus Jonsson back in the Top 20 too.In the Pursuit Andrejs Rastorgujevs of Latvia stormed to an amazing 4th place finish from a start bib of 28 and has to be a serious contender for his first podium soon.

The women’s races were pretty similar as Domracheva won both and Makarainen came second. The only change was in third which was taken by a solid outing from Olena Pidhrushna in the Sprint and a fantastic display in the Pursuit saw Synnove Solemdal finish third from a start position of 21. Other movement of note came from Vilukhina 15th to 5th, Soukalova 26th to 12th and Ringen 22nd to 13th. The Sprint also produced some some impressive results for Evi Sachenbacher 7th,Novakowska 8th,Weirer 9th and the 2 French girls Marine Boilliet and Anais Chevalier finishing 12th and 14th.

Sunday saw the first mass start races of the season and a flashback to last season’s results as Martin Fourcade and Tora Berger both won. It’s great to see Tora getting her form back on the standing shoot and just in time too with the Olympics little over a month away. Solemdal made it a Norwegian 1-2 but almost lost out to Domracheva in a close finish. Alexey Volkov shot clear to finish second in the men’s race. His best ever result giving the Russian selectors a headache for Sochi. Tarjei Boe was third despite Simon Eder’s best efforts to knock him over. In fact both Boe and Fourcade could have careers in figure skating, after fine pirouettes to save falls, should they tire of biathlon.

So now it’s off to Ruhpolding which starts on Wednesday with the women’s relay. The crowds in Germany are amazing and the fans and officials in Oberhof deserve great credit for this week end considering the miserable conditions. There may have been No Sn-Oberhof but there was certainly some great racing!Good job everyone!

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