Last update: 13/03/2021
Julia Simon won her first major medal during the single mixed relay of the 2021 Pokljuka World Championships. Together with her team mate, Antonin Guigonnat, she performed supremely well both on the shooting range as well as on the skiing course.
France was in fifth place when Simon started on the second leg, but after hitting ten of ten targets, spending 26 seconds in the prone shoot and a stunning 17.9 seconds in the standing shooting session, she had moved France up into third place when hooking up with Guigonnat for the second changeover.
After flawless shooting by Guigonnat on the third leg, France led when Julia Simon headed out on the fourth and final leg. She was however chased by two of the best biathletes of the last few seasons. Both Dorothea Wierer and Tiril Eckhoff started out just some seconds behind Simon and as Wierer and Eckhoff hit five of five quickly in the prone session, while Julia Simon needed a spare round to get down all the targets, she left the range in second place.
Coming into the eighth and final shooting, there were less than five seconds between Italy, France and Norway. Julia Simon used an extra shot to clear the five targets, Tiril Eckhoff hit five of five and left the range in the lead just ahead of the French team, while Dorothea Wierer experienced an unusual meltdown and had to do a penalty loop.
Heading out on the course it was widely assumed that Eckhoff, arguably the fastest skier of the women’s world cup circuit, as well as one of the very best sprinters, who in the past has been capable of rubbing shoulders with the very best the Norwegian Cross Country skiing national team, has to offer on occasion, would deliver the gold medal to the Norwegians.
Julia Simon though wanted it differently. On the last half of the main climb, she attacked furiously and moved past Eckhoff. She followed the attack up by superb and aggressive skiing in the downhill section and around the tight bends on the Pokljuka course. Even if Tiril Eckhoff is known to be very good at skiing such terrain, she was unable to keep up and Simon proved that she was more than a match for anyone else, securing gold for the French duo.
|Season||World Cup Rank||World Points||Major Medals|
|2020/2021||13||575||World Championships 2021 Pokljuka: Single mixed relay|
Julia Simon won a relay gold medal during the World Junior Championship in Minsk 2015. Together with her team mates Chloe Chevalier and Lena Arnaud she won by a margin of 26.9 seconds.
After being selected as an alternate for the Olympic Games of Pyeongchang 2018, she did not get to compete in any of the races.
Her World Cup debut was made in the 2016-2017 season, which she finished in 79th place in the Overall World Cup having scored 29 points.
Even if she picked up four podium places, including one win for France in World Cup relays during the 2018-2019 season, her Individual breakthrough came in the 2019-2020 season.
Simon finished 3rd in the Individual in Ostersund.
And 3rd in the Oberhof Sprint.
Julia Simon anchored the French mixed relay to an impressive victory in the world cup race in Pokljuka during the 2019-20 season.
She won the very last race of the season, the Pursuit in Kontiolahti.
Winning her first Individual World Cup race she also dispelled a talked about “curse”, how no French athlete named Simon had ever won an Individual World Cup race. That no French athlete named Simon had not won any individual races, was surprising considering how many quality athletes named Simon had been competing.
Simon Fourcade had won 8 relays together with his French teammates, finished 5th in the Overall World Cup, but never won an Individual World Cup race.
Simon Desthieux had won several relays and many individual podiums before Julia Simon won.
Together with her team mate, Justine Braisaz, she is competing for Club des Sports Les Saisies.
Julia Simon is a student at Grenoble Alpes University.