When you hear the name Emilien Jacquelin, you must immediately think of his last straight line of the 2020 Antholz-Anterselva World Championships pursuit. That day, in Italy, in front of an audience infusion, the Villardien beat Johannes Thingnes Boe to become the master of the world.
But Emilien Jacquelin is not just that. First of all he is a young biathlete of only 25 years 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).
However, the young man 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.
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.
Otherwise, as surprising as it may seem, Emilien Jacquelin 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 in 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.
Despite the lack of an audience at the competitions: ‘’That’s what I miss the most, he told Nordic Magazine. I feed on him. But I have internalized his absence and am ready to run without spectators.’’
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 has been the relay world champion since last February.