Quentin Fillon Maillet is the new Olympic champion in biathlon. Despite two penalties, the Frenchman prevailed against Anton Smolski from Belarus and Johannes Thingnes Bö from Norway. In the greatest moment of his career, however, Maillet thought of what was probably the greatest stroke of fate. Meanwhile, biathlon icon Martin Fourcade got really excited.
“He absolutely deserved it, he was the strongest in an incredibly good competition,” the five-time Olympic champion praised his compatriot at “Eurosport“: “With his two mistakes, I really didn’t expect him to win. It was just crazy what he did.”
For Fillon Maillet, the Olympic victory in the individual was the “last big challenge, he has already won the World Cup”. He also won silver in the mixed relay at the Beijing Games. For Fourcade it is clear: “He is one of the greatest champions in biathlon.”
The fact that the French biathlon selection caused a sensation even without the long-time dominator was “very emotional”, Fourcade admitted: “If you stop and then build something for your country, for your sport, then you want someone who will continue your legacy. I’m just happy to see him win.” The 33-year-old was convinced: “It won’t have been his last medal.”
Fillon Maillet on the Pyeongchang Games: ‘It was part of my life’
At the moment of his triumph, Quentin Fillon Maillet was also thinking about the difficult times. Four years ago in Pyeongchang he finally had something else on his mind than biathlon: his girlfriend Lydie had cancer and was fighting for her life. Likewise his father-in-law, who died shortly afterwards.
“Olympia four years ago is part of my life. I dreamed of gold, always had to think of my father-in-law and my wife. It was part of my life. They are bad memories,” he recalled in an interview with “ARD”.
In South Korea things didn’t go well at all with places 48, 44 and 29. But Fillon Maillet drew new motivation from the disappointment.
He had his “personal revenge” planned, said the exceptional ski hunter. After his girlfriend beat cancer, his sporting rise began. “When you have survived such situations, you think differently about biathlon,” he said.