April 13, 2021

Émilien Jacquelin profile

Last update: 31/03/2021

When you hear the name Emilien Jacquelin, you will maybe immediately think of the last kilometer of the 2020 Antholz-Anterselva World Championships pursuit. That day in front of some 20 000 biathlon fans and a TV-audience in the millions, the Villardien outfought and outsprinted Johannes Thingnes Boe to become the master of the world.

However, Emilien Jacqelin is not just that. First of all he is a young biathlete of only 25 years (born 11.07.95) who still has his torments.

He sometimes crackles when shooting, as he did on December 6 during the relay in Kontiolahti (Finland) and also during the next relay of the 2020-21 season in Hochfilzen (Austria).

Emilien Jacquelin showed great promise as a junior athlete. He picked up a bronze medal in the 12.5 KM Individual in the Youth World Championships in Presque Isle in 2014. In 2015 he grabbed a bronze medal as part of the relay team at the Junior World Championships in Minsk. Even if he had yet to make his proper breakthrough in the senior ranks he made the French team for the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. He did a relay leg for the French team that finished in fifth place. Individually he participated in one race, the 20 KM Individual where he finished 77th.

At the University of Savoie Mont Blanc – Chambery, Emilien Jacquelin has studied Marketing. The French biathlete Chloe Chevalier is Emilien’s girlfriend.

During the 2021 World Championships in Pokljuka, Slovenia, Jacquelin put down one of the most impressive biathlon races ever. He started the pursuit in third place after having picked up a bronze medal in the sprint, but had grabbed the lead when leaving the shooting range after the first prone shooting in the pursuit. After the second prone shooting he had a gap to all of his competitors and would not forfeit the lead from this point on. His shooting time for the two standing shootings sessions was spectacular, 17.3 seconds for the third shooting and 17.7 seconds for the fourth and final. Hitting 20 of 20 targets in 85.8 seconds, by far the fastest shooting time of the day, while skiing fast from the front of the race is beyond impressive.

However, his “shooting range demons” were back to haunt him just a week later, when he missed all his five shots during the second prone shooting of the mass start and yet again during the Men’s relay in Nove Mesto some week later. Emilien did the last leg for the French team and was in second place more than a minute ahead of the team in third place when he settled on the mat for his prone shooting. After Emilien had missed seven of his eight shots and done four penalty loops, the French quartet had dropped to eighth place.

Emilien Jacquelin is one of the most interesting biathletes to follow, his performances are enigmatic. On a good day he is arguable the best biathlete in the world, a fast skier with a tremendous change of pace and sprint finish as well as a very accurate and supremely fast shooter. On a bad day he can unfortunately crumble and fall apart on the shooting range.

He grew up in the footsteps of Martin Fourcade. Both living in the Vercors, they spent their summers training together on roller skis. But that was before the five-time Olympic champion retired in March 2020.

A complicated period for Emilien Jacquelin who had to mourn his elder “brother”. ‘’Getting to hang out with Martin every day in training to help me develop and suddenly being on my own was something new. Life without him was more complicated when I was at Villard-de-Lans but, as a group, that doesn’t change a lot, the desire to progress collectively is still there. I can say that I have turned the page Martin, you have to know how to continue and move forward’’, he explained to Nordic Magazine before the start of the season. Finally, he is looking ahead, under the benevolent eye of Martin Fourcade, always attentive to the results of his former team-mates.

Emilien Jacquelin has together with one of his equipment sponsors produced an interesting Youtube series which has been texted in English.

Otherwise, as surprising as it may seem, coming in to the 2020-21 season Emilien Jacquelin had won only two individual international races during his career: the pursuit of the Antholz Worlds and the IBU Cup sprint in Sjusjøen in 2017, which opened the doors to the World Cup. Since then, the Dauphinois has hardly let go, winning the small crystal globe for the pursuit in the 2019-20 season.

It must be said that the winter of 2019/2020 was one of explosion for Emilien Jacquelin, he made eight podium results, while he had never produced any podium performances, at the world cup level, at the start of the season. When he pulls together the perfect standing shots, the Villard-de-Lans skier is able to dominate the best biathletes on the planet. He finished the 2019-20 IBU Biathlon World Cup in fifth place, only 14 points behind Tarjei Boe in fourth. This confirmed progression from year to year: 46th in 2017-18, and 24th in 2018-19. How far up the standings will he finish the 2020-21 edition of the overall world cup? He has already shown that he has the potential to challenge absolutely everyone in the world.

SeasonWorld Cup RankWorld PointsMajor Medals
2020/20217812 World Championships 2021 Pokljuka: Pursuit
World Championships 2021 Pokljuka: Sprint
2019/20205726 World Championships 2020 Antholz: Men’s relay, Pursuit
World Championships 2020 Antholz: Single mixed, Mass Start
2018/201924352
2017/201846113
2016/2017N/AN/A

Jacquelin really misses the audience at the competitions, who because of the worldwide pandemic are not allowed in the stands: ‘’That’s what I miss the most, he told Nordic Magazine. I feed on the buzz created by the spectators. But I have internalized the absence of the crowd in the stands and am ready to run without spectators.’’

In January 2020, Emilien Jacquelin answered ten questions in IBU TV’s 10/10 series. Among other things that his non-French dream single mixed relay partner would be Hanna Oeberg, that he enjoys playing videos games with his roommate Antonin Guigonnat, that he was a fan of Raphaël Poirée growing up and that his favourite biathlon venue is Antholz. A link to the full interview can be found below:

Everything is still possible with Emilien Jacquelin, carried by a France team which is still formidable despite the departure of Martin Fourcade. Quentin Fillon-Maillet, declared candidate for the big crystal globe, Simon Desthieux, Antonin Guigonnat and Fabien Claude are reliable biathletes. And then, France won the Men’s relay of the Antholz 2020 World Championships.

Florian Burgaud

Florian Burgaud

Florian is an unconditional lover of winter sports. Young French journalist, he works for Nordic Magazine, media specializing in Nordic skiing.

View all posts by Florian Burgaud →

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