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Felix Leitner finished fourth in the group start at the Biathlon World Cup in Annecy on Sunday. After the third shoot, the Austrian took second place for a long time and was on his way to the podium. Despite being the only shooter on the field, Lightner lost two places. The victory went to French Emilien Jacqueline (1 misses) after 35: 54.8 minutes, ahead of his compatriot Quentin Fillon Mayet (+3.5/2) and Norway’s Targe Bo (+10.3/1).
“The start of the race was a bit hectic, but I knew I had to focus on shooting, because there could be a lot,” Leitner said in a summary via ÖSV broadcast. Although the sound was very loud when the last shot in the field was fired, Jacqueline removed it as hard as a rock. “I knew I had to stay with myself and show what I could – and it worked. The last round was really tough, but now I’m glad the first three months of the competition ended like this.” Of course his motivation increased in the last round due to his mediocre position. “The last course is always tough, but it’s definitely more fun that way.”
Jacqueline also took the overall lead in the World Cup with 371 points after nine races, just two points behind Fillon Maillot. And Leitner advanced to the nineteenth place overall (162 points). The second Austrian to qualify for the group start, Simon Eder, finished 17th with a shot error (+1:16.9 min).
Lisa Hauser had already finished in the top ten in the last World Cup race before the Christmas holidays. The 28-year-old world champion finished ninth in the group start. Until the last shot, the Tyrolean was still on the podium without a fault before returning a single penalty ring. And as in the chase on Saturday in front of thousands of fans, the victory went to Sweden’s Elvira Oberg.
The current fastest sprinter beat France’s Julia Simon (+10.7sec). And Russia’s Kristina Ryshova took third place (12.1). The top duo had to take two penalties each time. Hauser lost 31.1 seconds in Auberge after one and less than optimal performance on the road. “This weekend, with a total of three in the top ten, it was really cool. It was great at the shooting range. It probably didn’t do well in terms of running,” said Hauser.
After a second place finish and a sprint victory at the start in Östersund as well as three places out of the top ten in France, she can gladly enter the break that will run until January 6. “Now I’m looking forward to some birthday cakes in the next few days,” says Hauser. At Hochfilzen, of all places, she gave her worst performance of the season after winning the World Cup. In the general standings, Hauser is fourth after the French races. Norway’s Marte Olsbu Röiseland continues to advance ahead of Öberg. Former disappointing defender Terrell Eckhoff did not make an appearance on Sunday.
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