Jean-Baptiste Sarrazin, with Céline Géraud 16:45 pm, March 28, 2023A week after winning the big biathlon crystal globe, France's Julia Simon looked back on her incredible season in "Europe 1 Sport". From her preparation to her final victory, the biathlete from Les Saisies, in Savoie, revealed the secrets of this unprecedented performance to the microphone of Céline Géraud.
Julia Simon is slowly realizing. The French biathlete, winner of the big biathlon crystal globe 2023 last week in Oslo, Norway, succeeds 18 years later her compatriot Sandrine Bailly who won the World Cup in 2005. It is also in line with Anne Briandet and Emmanuelle Claret, both world champions in 1995 and 1996 respectively. A major performance that the French had not envisaged at the beginning of the season and that she decrypted in the show Europe 1 Sport (every evening from 20 hours to 23 hours live on Europe 1).
The Queen of Winter! Congratulations on an incredible season, Julia! ❤ #hol23 | #biathlonpic.twitter.com/0eIpjjdNkV
— BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon (@IBU_WC) March 19, 2023
For Julia Simon, this title of world champion is above all the result of a "regularity". The Savoyard biathlete dominated the biathlon season from start to finish with three wins and ten podiums in 18 races. The 26-year-old athlete quickly took the lead in the general classification and donned the leader's yellow jersey (from the second stage in Hochfilzen), never to let it go. "I've done quite a few flower ceremonies. It was really a beautiful winter, unexpected in terms of results. It's pretty crazy!", enthused Julia Simon in Europe 1 Sport. "I'm surfing on my little cloud again," she then added with laughing eyes.
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Skillful and fast
Julia Simon also owes this regularity to intensive preparation. In constant progress in recent seasons, the French biathlete has notably improved her shot, whether standing or prone. During this 2022-2023 season, she has turned at 90% success against targets, and her skill even rises to 93% in prone shooting, 9% more than last year in this same exercise. "There is a very good percentage and my ski speed also allowed me to get podiums," commented the Albertville native.
But to achieve such statistics, the Frenchwoman worked hard for many months. "I had to take the time to rebuild that prone shot which was a little too fast, a little too rushed. And when we've been repeating this for ten years, it takes time. So we worked for two years, "said the latter at the microphone of Celine Geraud before thanking his coach Jean-Paul Giachino.
His very good season was also marked by particularly successful Worlds. Winner of the pursuit, and medalist on the Mass-start and relay, Julia Simon managed to assume a leadership role. In Oberhof, the Frenchwoman benefited from the unfailing support of her family, allowing her to keep her full motivation throughout the races.
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Towards the 2026 Olympics
After her crazy season, Julia Simon now wants to rest. The 26-year-old biathlete will "try to cut the phone a little bit and recover as much as possible," she explained in Europe 1 Sport. She still wants to go to the France championships next week in Bessan in Haute-Maurienne. Regarding the rest of her career, nothing is yet defined for the holder of the big crystal globe 2023.
"Are we starting again on a full season? We will see after the discussions with my coaches, "she explained before continuing: "We bet on events like the world championships" without however detailing further. But one thing is certain, Julia Simon wants to aim for the Winter Olympics in 2026 in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. "This will be the big goal of my career," concluded Julia Simon.