Quentin Fillon-Maillet is officially the best biathlete in the world

In juniors, Kenten lost against the background of Loginov, Tsvetkov and Johannes Bo. Fourcade admitted that he did not believe in his talent. Kenten comes from a sports family and at the age of 4 he was already skiing, and 10 years later he got acquainted with biathlon.
“We all went skiing, biking, and hiking together. They had picnics and spent the whole day outside. It was a wonderful time, ”he recalled his childhood years.

Now Fillon-Maillet is a stable and cool-headed athlete, one of the best shooters in the elite. But it was not always so. At the debut international tournament, he failed – at the 2011 Youth World Championship he missed 17 times in three personal races (10 of them in the individual race). And in general, Fillon-Maillet never took a single big title in juniors – there is only the gold of the European Championship in the mixed relay and the silver of the relay at the biathlon World Championships.

It seemed that Kenten was not lucky with his rivals

He fell on the talented generation of Russian youth. Maxim Tsvetkov and Alexander Loginov took the junior titles while Fillon-Maillet struggled with shooting. At the Junior World Cup 2013, the Norwegian Johannes Boe joined our guys, but Kenten still had no place on the podium.

The adult debut came in the 2012/13 biathlon season – already in the third race at the IBU Cup, Kenten shot without a miss in the individual race and climbed to 4th line. Although this result turned out to be almost accidental, Fillon-Maillet was looking for stability for a long time. Nevertheless, already in the Olympic season he got to the biathlon World Cup and even ended up among the substitutes in Sochi 2014, but did not spend a single race there.

“I never thought that it would reach such a level (as in Beijing 2022). If someone asked me if he was capable of this, I would answer: no, ”biathlon legend Martin Fourcade later admitted.
Fillon-Maillet added every biathlon season, but not very quickly – he won his first medal at the World Cup in 2015. Then hitting the podium did not become a habit, but was only episodic. He himself knew that he was on the right path: “There is no limit in sports. You can always run faster, shoot better. There is no limit. I don’t believe in fate, I do things.” The next Olympic season turned out to be a turning point and the most difficult one.

Failed Pyeongchang 2018 due to the illness of the girlfriend

When she recovered, made a breakthrough. Fillon-Maillet was preparing for the 2017/18 biathlon season with great ambitions, and at the very first stage in Östersund he climbed the podium twice and looked strong. But he recalls the main start of the four-year period with horror: “I just want to erase the entire Olympics in Pyeongchang from my memory.”
In September 2017, Kenten and his girlfriend Lydie found out she had cancer. “It was the worst day of my life. It was so hard. It changed the whole season. I was no longer thinking about the Olympics, but about my girlfriend surviving.”

Kenten is a fan of biathlon: he makes a rifle himself, and also goes to army training camps

Of course, the love story of Kenten and Lidi is very beautiful and inspiring, but this is not the only reason for success. Fillon-Maillet is an incredibly hard working athlete. The team admires him:
“He gives himself to the sport 200%,” said Emilien Jacquelin. “He is an example of how to work, he works all the time. He always wants to do more,” added Fabien Claude.

And Martin Fourcade, who did not believe in Quentin, changed his mind: “I often noticed that he puts words above actions. Now he puts action first. He has completely mastered the art of biathlon: technically, tactically and physically.”


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Coming battle of six F1 cars for victory

But two break-in sessions showed that although the championship switched to completely new revolutionary cars, it was not possible to completely reset the old order. The same big three favorites remained in the top – Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.
Max Verstappen pleased the fans with the best total test time – he brought everyone over half a second. Charles Leclerc in the scarlet Ferrari F1-75 was third, the newcomer to eight-time champions George Russell was fifth. Mick Schumacher on the Haas and Fernando Alonso on the Alpin also burst into the top of the table – however, Mazepin’s former partner tore the cooled down and faster track alone.

In general, due to the large differences in the moment of establishing the best times, it is always incorrect to compare cars head-on: after all, asphalt temperatures and adhesion levels were constantly changing. You can study the summary table in more detail here, but it does not guarantee a fundamental understanding of the balance of power: the winning car in Formula 1 is determined by a race of 50-70 laps, and not by one fast dash. Therefore, it is still more important to roll over and pace at a long distance.

The Scuderia did not break down, systematically developed the aerodynamic package, skated with a margin

“One of the best pre-season tests of my career,” Leclerc told the official F1 website. – There were no problems, although with a new car you always expect them. But everything went smoothly. We managed to improve the car.”
“Ferrari is often called the “test champion”, because the Scuderia often led the tables in the run-in, and then again and again lost to the Mercedes. But now, it seems, the situation is different – the Italians just worked according to plan. Insiders warned in advance: Maranello is happy with the F1-75 and is going to further reveal its potential while rivals are preparing radical updates – exactly what happened: the W13 and RB18 have changed radically, but the scarlet car looks the same. And she did not start to lose sharply to the new products of Mercedes and Red Bull.

It just seems that the Ferrari car engineers are now one step ahead of their opponents – while they are studying the extreme possibilities of new cars, in the pits of Leclerc and Sainz “they work most of all with small details of the aerodynamic body kit – often on things that are absolutely invisible from the side,” according to the technical story F1 TV expert Sam Collins.

But Red Bull and Mercedes have a margin for speed

When evaluating Ferrari’s rivals, you need to remember: they approached the second test with a completely different program. As the Italians delved deeper into the possibilities of the F1-75, Mercedes started over with a “nearly no pontoons” concept, and the Red Bull F1 team only seriously changed the side part on the last day. Therefore, Max Verstappen, for example, traveled in shorter segments compared to the Scuderia – he seemed to be a little faster than Leclerc on them, but the logic of the Anglo-Austrian checks turned out to be clearly different, and, besides, Charles could also add if the distance was reduced.

Moreover, the results of the last day reset the previous Red Bull times a little. After all, according to the revelations of the Anglo-Austrian adviser Helmut Marko, the new form of radiators helped to restructure the flows and change the balance to a more convenient one.

The best motor – all of a sudden at Alpine F1

Nevertheless, Alonso still has a reserve – on the penultimate straight, as you can see, the acceleration of his car even stopped (the power plant obviously went into the hybrid energy accumulation mode), but still retained the advantage. Bet on power after years of focus on reliability has already played out.


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Florian Wirtz was out for a long time

A 0-1 defeat doesn’t look so terrible against the backdrop of a terrible injury to 18-year-old star Florian Wirtz. After the match, the club’s medical staff confirmed a rupture of anterior cruciate ligament of left knee. Already on the field, it was clear that the worst should be expected – Florian’s leg, after a junction with the Cologne football player, unnaturally bent, and the football player himself was taken away on a stretcher and sent to the hospital.

Wirtz is the youngest scorer of 10 goals in the Bundesliga

Top football clubs lined up behind him, but now the World Cup is in question. The recovery time is not yet clear – it usually takes about six months. It’s a shame, given form Wirtz has taken – he leads in goals + passes among players under 21 in the top 5 leagues in Europe: 17 (7 + 10) points in 23 Bundesliga matches. In all tournaments this season, he scored 10 + 14 in 31 games.

In early March, insider Fabrizio Romano reported that the guy was already lined up from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern. Bayer had no plans to let go of the young star this season, but now any transition is almost impossible in the near future. Even getting to the football World Cup in November-December is in question: Wirtz made his debut for the national team in September, played four matches and counted on an invitation to Qatar.

The head coach of the Germans, Hans-Dieter Flick, is upset, but has already supported the player: “Wirtz is one of the main talents of German football in lastseasons. That’s why we were all shocked when we found out about the torn cruciate ligament. I already called him and tried to cheer him up. I’m sure. He will have our full support.”

Bundesliga fans have been discussing Wirtz since May 2020 – then he came out in a match against Werder Bremen at age of 17 years, becoming the youngest player in Bayer history (updated Kai Havertz’s record) and third in Bundesliga.

For first goal in Bundesliga, midfielder took less than a month, and he scored immediately versus Bayern. This goal was youngest in Bundesliga: at that time, Wirtz was 17 years old. He broke record of Nuri Shahin, which held for 15 years. True, six months later Yussuf Mukoko from Dortmund rejuvenated the record by 12 month, scoring at 16 years and 28 days.

But in September 2021, Florian broke another football achievement: he scored the 10th goal in Bundesliga, becoming youngest player who managed to score double-digit goals – 18 years, 4 months. Prior to this, achievement was held by Lukas Podolski.

Bayer acquired Wirtz for 200,000 euros from Cologne

Now the football player is estimated at 70 million. Wirtz, like Podolsky, is a graduate of Cologne. The German Express said that with this transition, the Leverkuseners violated the long-standing tacit agreement of Cologne, Bayer and Gladbach: the clubs agreed not to poach young players from each other to the academy. Bayer cheated, although Leverkusen’s youth coach Patrick Helmes (he played for the youth team and the adult team of Cologne) thinks that everything is in order: “We signed him immediately to the first team.”

Bayer really intercepted a 16-year-old guy from Cologne U17, where he was not promised an instant rise. Leverkusen immediately promised U19 training with the main team. Five months later, Florian made his debut in Bundesliga. For transfer, Cologne received 200 thousand euros, and 2 seasons later the player is estimated at Transfermarkt at 70 million.

Now Wirtz has received the first serious injury of his football career – it just so happened that it was in the match against Cologne.


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