March 26, 2023

The coaches of the French men’s biathlon team, Vincent Vittoz and Patrick Favre, announced their departure at the end of the season, “more in tune with (their) athletes”, Friday in Oslo, the last stage of the Coupe du world.

“Today, it is clear that we are no longer in tune with our athletes. The athletes have made certain comments. Today, we feel that they are not able to hear some of our speeches”, explained Vittoz to the handful of French journalists present in Oslo.

“We were ready to continue, clearly. But today, there is a break in this discourse,” he added.

Vittoz, 2005 cross-country skiing world champion, and Favre had taken the reins of the men’s group five years ago, after the 2018 Olympics, and had chosen to leave for a new Olympiad after the 2022 Olympics.

But “when you feel a breaking point, you must not be stubborn, resumed Vittoz. The France team must continue differently, today we would have been a brake for the future.”

“We had a lot of ideas but they don’t stick, training is based a lot on confidence, today we feel that this confidence is lacking, added Favre. Forcing things is not a good thing. “

The Blues are experiencing a post-Olympic season far from the standards to which they were accustomed. They only obtained five individual podiums in the World Cup over the winter: only one for Quentin Fillon Maillet, the five-time Olympic medalist from Beijing and holder of the big crystal globe, three for Emilien Jacquelin – who put a term anticipated in his season- and one for the young Eric Perrot.

For the first time since 2009, before the great Martin Fourcade era, they did not climb on any individual podium at the Worlds in Oberhof (Germany) in February. They were nevertheless crowned world champions in the relay ahead of Johannes Boe’s Norway.

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