France’s Quentin Fillon Maillet is on the hunt for his second individual gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics in the men’s 10km sprint. He was second in World Cup rankings in the men’s sprint for the 2020-2021 season and won his first individual Olympic gold medal in the individual 20km event on Tuesday.
In his Olympic debut, Maillet took 48th place in the 10km sprint at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. He had one of his most challenging seasons in 2018 when he experienced personal difficulties that affected his performance on the course. When Maillet’s girlfriend and stepfather began their battles with cancer that season, biathlon took the backburner. He left PyeongChang with no medals.
After his family's recovery, he was able to refocus on his sport and returned to find victory in the 10km sprint event at the 2022 BMW IBU World Cup in Ruhpolding, Germany. Maillet catapulted to first in the World Cup rankings. He finished the last shooting stage in the standing position with no missed targets and finished the race at 23:23.7 with a powerful last leg. It became his first sprint competition where he finished with clean shooting.
Not only is Maillet a dynamic skier with depth to his technique on inclines and straights, but he also has 90% accuracy in standing shooting and 84% accuracy in prone shooting. He is among a handful of athletes who are able to find more accuracy in the standing stage compared to the prone stage.
Maillet enters the 10km sprint owning the yellow bib and will meet competitors like Norway’s star biathlete Johannes Thingnes Boe and Sweden's Sebastian Samuelsson. Looking to create another run with perfect shooting, Maillet will lean on his ability as a great standing shooter to avoid penalties on the course. A penalty loop of 150m must be skied when a target is missed.
The men’s 10km individual sprint takes place on Feb. 12 at 4:00 a.m. ET.