Martin Fourcade

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Martin Fourcade
Martin Fourcade.JPG
Personal information
Born (1988-09-14) 14 September 1988 (age 27)
Perpignan, France
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Professional information
Sport Biathlon
Club EMHM Nordic 66
World Cup debut 13 March 2008
Olympic Games
Teams 2 (2010, 2014)
Medals 4 (2 gold)
World Championships
Teams 7 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)
Medals 19 (10 gold)
World Cup
Seasons 9 (2007/08–)
Individual victories 47
All victories 58
Individual podiums 89
All podiums 115
Overall titles 5 (2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16)
Discipline titles 16:
2 Individual (2012–13, 2015–16);
5 Sprint (2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16);
6 Pursuit (2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16);
3 Mass start (2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16)
Updated on 13 March 2016.

Martin Fourcade (born 14 September 1988) is a French biathlete and non-commissioned officer.[1] Fourcade is a ten-time World Champion, twice an Olympic champion and five-time winner of the Overall World Cup.[2][3] He is the only male biathlete to have won the Overall World Cup five times in a row.[4][5]


Early career[edit]

Fourcade took up biathlon in 2002 and started competing internationally in 2006,[6] following in the footsteps of his older brother Simon Fourcade. The younger Fourcade competed for France in the 2007 and 2008 Junior World Championships, winning a bronze medal in the relay in 2007.[6][7]

Fourcade first competed in the Biathlon World Cup at Oslo in March 2008, finishing 61st in what would be his only World Cup appearance that season.[6] The next season was already much more successful for him, as he grabbed his first World Cup points at Hochfilzen, placing 36th in the individual race and 10th in the sprint.[6] His best results that year came at the 2009 World Championships, where he finished in the top 20 in every competition, including an 8th place in the pursuit and a 4th place in the relay.[6][8][9] Fourcade finished 24th in the overall World Cup that year.[10]

2009–10 season[edit]

Kontiolahti, Finland, March 13, 2010

Fourcade again improved in the 2009–10 season, consistently finishing in the top 10 and making the French team for the 2010 Winter Olympics, together with his brother.[11] Fourcade grabbed a silver medal in the mass start,[12] marking the first time he made the podium in a World Cup event.[6] Fourcade then claimed his first victory in a pursuit at Kontiolahti,[13][14] and followed up with two more first places at Oslo, in a sprint and another pursuit.[6][15] The two pursuit victories meant Fourcade won the 2009–10 Pursuit World Cup, edging out Austria's Simon Eder by just one point.[15][16] In the overall World Cup he finished 5th, 64 points ahead of his brother Simon, who finished a career-best 7th.[17][18]

2010–11 season[edit]

The 2010–11 season was also highly successful for Fourcade. He opened the season at Östersund with three top 5 finishes, including two 3rd places. After somewhat weaker showings at Pokljuka and Oberhof, Fourcade placed runner-up in all three races at Ruhpolding.[6][19] Fourcade won mass starts at both Antholz and Fort Kent,[6][20] and entered the 2011 World Championships in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia as one of the favourites.[21]

The first event at the World Championships was the mixed relay, where the French placed 3rd after Fourcade as anchor showed the best male performance in the race to lift his team up from 5th.[22] Fourcade then claimed the silver medal behind Arnd Peiffer in the sprint, despite missing two shots at the prone stage; Fourcade was the fastest skier in the competition.[23] The next day in the pursuit Fourcade won the gold despite three penalties,[24] thanks to turning in another fastest skiing performance.[25]

Fourcade finished 3rd in the Overall World Cup,[26] 4th in the Sprint, 2nd in the Pursuit, 3rd in the Individual and 2nd in the Mass Start.

2011–12 season[edit]

Kontiolahti, Finland, February 12, 2012

Fourcade had the best possible start in 2011–12 season with 2 wins in the individual[27] and the pursuit[28] in Östersund, Sweden, leading the Overall ranking for the first time.

In Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, he finished 3rd in the sprint, alongside his older brother Simon who took the 2nd place, behind Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen.[29] It was the first time in biathlon's history that 2 brothers stood on a podium together. In the following pursuit (although finishing respectively 2nd and 3rd) Simon was downgraded to 4th place after IBU decided to upgrade Germany's Arnd Peiffer following a target's malfunction (Peiffer did an extra lap). But the French team claimed Martin had purposely slowed down before crossing the line, seeing that Simon was far behind. IBU finally decided to tie Peiffer and Martin.[30]

Antholz was a fantastic weekend for the French team, both men and women relays taking 1st place and Fourcade finishing 3rd of the sprint and the mass Start.[31][32]

In Oslo (Norway) at home, Emil Svendsen grabbed the yellow bib from Fourcade.[33]

The first to start, Fourcade managed to win the sprint despite extreme temperatures in Kontiolahti, Finland (−18 °C).[34]

At the World Championships in Ruhpolding, Fourcade won three gold medals in sprint, pursuit and mass start.[35] He became only the second male biathlete to win three non-team gold medals at a single World Championships after Ole Einar Bjørndalen (Hochfilzen 2005 and Pyeongchang 2009).[36]

Fourcade won the Overall World Cup for the first time, as well as the discipline titles in the sprint and the pursuit.[37]

2012–13 season[edit]

Fourcade started the season with a win in the individual in Östersund.[38] At the time he had improved his shooting to 89%.[39]

In Hochfilzen, Fourcade finished 2nd and 3rd in the sprint and in the pursuit, respectively.[40][41]

Having had mediocre weekends in Pokljuka and Oberhof, Fourcade went on to win both the sprint and the mass start in Ruhpolding.[42][43]

At the World Championships in Nove Mesto, Fourcade had to settle for silver both in sprint and in pursuit as Emil Hegle Svendsen won both events.[44][45] In the latter, Fourcade lost the gold by one tenth of a second to Svendsen, leaving the Frenchman disappointed, citing that he would "think of that 2,4 cm everyday when training next summer".[45] Fourcade was, however, able to take a gold in the individual, his fifth World Championships gold medal.[46]

The end of the season was a successful one for Fourcade, as he picked up wins in the pursuit in Oslo,[47] in the individual and in the sprint in Sochi[48][49] and in the sprint and in the mass start in Khanty-Mansiysk.[50][51]

Fourcade finished the season with over 400 overall world cup points more than Svendsen who finished second, thus winning his second Overall World Cup title.[52] In addition, he won all of discipline titles, becoming only the second male biathlete after Raphaël Poirée to win all of the crystal globes in one season.[51]

2013–14 season[edit]

Just like in the previous season, Fourcade started the 2013-14 season by winning the Östersund individual.[53] In addition, he won the sprint two days later.[54] He then went on to take a third win of the season in Hochfilzen pursuit.[55] Fourcade couldn't, however, add to his win count in Annecy, France, his best result being third in the sprint.[56]

Martin Fourcade in Oberhof in January 2014

At the start of the year 2014 Fourcade won the mass start in Oberhof, his first World Cup victory there.[57] He then decided to skip the Ruhpolding weekend to train for the olympics.[57][58] His final tune-up for the olympics, the Antholz World Cup weekend wasn't all that successful, although the French team, anchored by Martin Fourcade, did win the men's relay.[59]

Ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Fourcade admitted that he will be under pressure, but that he will be able to handle it.[60] He also said that he is capable of winning every race he enters but that there will be others, mainly Emil Hegle Svendsen, with a great level of self-confidence.[61] The first non-team race, the sprint, ended in disappointing sixth place for Fourcade.[62][63] However, he was able to turn the tables in the following pursuit, climbing from sixth to first, winning his first olympic gold medal.[64] After the last shot at the last standing shooting Fourcade famously stretched his arm in the air and pumped his fist, explaining that it was all happiness, knowing the weight of that shooting.[65] In the individual, Fourcade carried on his good form, hitting 19 out of 20 targets in winning his second olympic gold medal.[66] The mass-start ended in a slight disappointment for Fourcade, for even though claiming his third medal of the games, a silver, he lost the gold by some centimeters, Svendsen claiming the victory in photo-finish.[67] Regardless of that, Fourcade was by far the most successful male biathlete of the 2014 Winter Olympics.[68] In addition, he became only the second male biathlete after Ole Einar Bjørndalen to have won a non-team Olympic gold medal, a non-team World Championships gold medal, the Overall World Cup title and all of the discipline World Cup titles in his career.[36][69]

After the olympics there were three weekends left in the world cup, with Fourcade claiming the second place in the Pokljuka mass start,[70] and second places in the Kontiolahti sprint and pursuit (Johannes Thingnes Bø winning both of the Kontiolahti races).[71][72] With the pursuit second place, Fourcade secured his third Overall World Cup title.[72]

Fourcade won the final event of the season, the Oslo mass start, which ensured that he won the mass start crystal globe.[73] He finished the season with the Overall crystal globe as well as sprint, pursuit and mass start crystal globes.[74]

2014–15 season[edit]

Before the season Fourcade suffered from mononucleosis and was forced to heavily cut back his training hours in the summer.[75]

Unlike the two previous years, Fourcade couldn't win the Östersund individual, in fact with six shooting errors he slumped to 81st place, his second worst World Cup result ever.[76] This appeared to be only temporary, however, as he won both of the following races, the sprint and the pursuit.[77][78]

His next victory came in the Hochfilzen pursuit where he climbed from seventh place to first, thanks to a clean shooting.[79] Pokljuka was not as successful, as Fourcade didn't add to his win tally. Even so, he collected second most points of the weekend behind Anton Shipulin of Russia.[80]

The Oberhof weekend at the start of the year 2015 was a very successful one for the French star as he won both the sprint and the mass start.[81][82] The final shooting of the mass start was one of the most memorable moments of the season as a strong wind forced the leading Fourcade to wait patiently for it to calm down while many athletes, including eventual runner-up Anton Shipulin, left the shooting range. None of them shot clean, however, and it was the clean shooting Fourcade who again took the lead and the victory.[83][84]

After two below par -weekends, when Shipulin and most notably Simon Schempp of Germany were able to reduce the gap to Fourcade in the Overall World Cup,[85][86][87] the Frenchman was able to regroup to score fourth and third places in Nove Mesto sprint and pursuit, respectively.[88][89]

The last weekend before the world championships, the Oslo weekend saw Fourcade complete the return to form, as the Frenchman won the individual race. He started first, shot 20 out of 20 and stayed on top until the end.[90] Fourcade then went on to take the second place behind Arnd Peiffer in the sprint.[91]

At the World Championships in Kontiolahti, Fourcade won his sixth world championships gold medal in the individual. Having made one shooting error on the second prone stage he had to play catch up, as his rival Emil Hegle Svendsen had cleared all the targets earlier. Fourcade didn't make any more shooting mistakes and overtook Svendsen at the finish to take the gold. If it hadn't been for the late success of eventual bronze medalist Ondrej Moravec, the elder of the Fourcade brothers, Simon, would have been on the podium as well.[92] By claiming his sixth non-team gold, Martin Fourcade became the third most successful non-team gold medal winning male biathlete at the World Championships after Ole Einar Bjørndalen and Raphaël Poirée, moving ahead of his rival Svendsen, Aleksander Tikhonov and Frank Ullrich who have five non-team gold medals.[69]

At the season finale in Khanty-Mansiysk, Fourcade claimed a victory in the sprint, his 8th win of the season.[93] He then finished 4th in the pursuit, which was enough to secure the big crystal globe, as well as the pursuit discipline title.[94]

Despite the off season mononucleosis, Fourcade finished the season winning the Overall World Cup title and the sprint and pursuit discipline titles. He became the first male biathlete to win the Overall title four times in succession.[95]

2015–16 season[edit]

Before starting his biathlon campaign for 2015-16, Fourcade had a brief foray into cross-country skiing, finishing 12th in a 15km freestyle FIS race at Beitostølen before competing in the opening meeting of the 2015–16 FIS Cross-Country World Cup at Ruka, where he finished 22nd in the 10km freestyle, posting the third best French performance of the day, and beating his previous personal best result on the Cross-Country World Cup of a 47th place in 2012.[96]

Like the year before, Fourcade started the season with an indifferent showing in the Östersund individual.[97] Like the previous year, he was able to regroup to win both of the two other solo Östersund races, the sprint and the pursuit. He missed five times in the two competitions altogether, but was still able to win both races quite comfortably with his outstanding ski speed.[98][99]

In Hochfilzen, Fourcade and Simon Schempp dominated the field, with Schempp winning the sprint and Fourcade finishing second and the two swapping places in the following pursuit.[100][101] The Pokljuka weekend was a good but not a great one for Fourcade, as he collected third most world cup points there. Schempp was, however, able to gain on the lead of Fourcade quite considerably.[102]

With world number two Bjørndalen and world number three Schempp absent from the first two and all three Oberhof-replacing Ruhpolding races, respectively, Fourcade was able to take a sizeable lead in the overall rankings.[103][104][105] After the first of the two Ruhpolding weekends, a familiar threat in Emil Hegle Svendsen took over as the nearest challenger to Fourcade in the overall rankings. However, Fourcade was able to take a big lead in the final race of the weekend, the mass start. The two great rivals arrived toe to toe at the final standing shoot, only for Fourcade to hit all five targets and win the race and Svendsen to miss three times and fall to the 13th place.[106]

Fourcade then carried on the good form by winning the Ruhpolding individual race and placing second in the mass start.[107][108] The next weekend, the Antholz weekend was a poor one for Fourcade, although he did rise from 28th place to fourth in the pursuit.[109]

The trip to North America started very well for Fourcade, as he won the Canmore sprint.[110] He also took the Canmore single mixed relay with Marie Dorin Habert.[111] In the Presque Isle sprint, Fourcade finished third behind Johannes Thingnes Bø and Anton Shipulin.[112] In the following pursuit, Bø seemed to be on his way to winning a double before missing twice on the last shooting. Fourcade, some 40 seconds back, cleared all five targets and left the range before his Norwegian rival. By claiming the pursuit, Fourcade equalled the number of world cup race wins of Raphaël Poirée, with 44 victories. The race also marked the 100th time Fourcade wore the prestigious yellow bib.[113]

To prepare for the 2016 World Championships in Oslo, Fourcade had bought an apartment in Oslo with the help of his friend, Tarjei Bø in June 2015.[114] Judging by the first half of the championships, this seemed to be a good move, as Fourcade anchored the French mixed relay team to gold medal[115] before winning both the sprint and the pursuit in convincing fashion.[116][117] With these gold medals, Fourcade secured his fifth straight Overall World Cup title and brought his number of World Championships gold medals to nine.[117] He then went on to keep the golden streak going by winning the individual race. Fourcade had a one-minute penalty on the first standing stage but like the three previous major individual races, the one mistake proved to be his only one. That turned out to be just enough to beat clean shooting Dominik Landertinger of Austria.[118] By claiming his tenth World Championship gold medal and ninth non-team gold medal, Fourcade became the first biathlete ever to win the longest event in biathlon three times in succession at the World Championships.[119][120] In addition, Fourcade claimed the individual discipline crystal globe with a margin of two points over bronze medallist Simon Eder of Austria, leaving the great Frenchman all but certain to win all of the crystal globes that season.[121] The final race of the championships, the mass start, saw Fourcade narrowly miss the chance to win all four non-team gold medals as Johannes Thingnes Bø edged the Frenchman on the last loop.[122]

Fourcade finished the season winning the Overall World Cup title as well as all of the discipline titles, the overall title being his fifth in succession[123]

Personal life[edit]

Martin Fourcade was born in Perpignan, France on 14 September 1988 to Gisèle and Marcel Fourcade.[124]

He has a daughter, Manon (born on 11 September 2015), with his partner Hélène.[125]

Biathlon results[edit]

All results are sourced from the International Biathlon Union.[6]

Olympic Games[edit]

4 medals (2 gold, 2 silver)

Event Individual Sprint Pursuit Mass start Relay Mixed relay*
Canada 2010 Vancouver 14th 35th 34th Silver 6th N/A
Russia 2014 Sochi Gold 6th Gold Silver 8th 6th
*The mixed relay was added as an event in 2014.

World Championships[edit]

20 medals (10 gold, 8 silver, 2 bronze)

Event Individual Sprint Pursuit Mass start Relay Mixed relay
South Korea 2009 Pyeongchang 13th 18th 8th 15th 4th
Russia 2010 Khanty-Mansiysk* N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 5th
Russia 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk 10th Silver Gold 10th 12th Bronze
Germany 2012 Ruhpolding 25th Gold Gold Gold Silver 11th
Czech Republic 2013 Nové Město Gold Silver Silver 10th Silver Silver
Finland 2015 Kontiolahti Gold 12th 7th 10th Bronze Silver
Norway 2016 Oslo Holmenkollen Gold Gold Gold Silver 9th Gold
*During Olympic seasons competitions are only held for those events not included in the Olympic program.

Junior/Youth World Championships[edit]

1 medal (1 bronze)

Event Individual Sprint Pursuit Relay
Italy 2007 Martell-Val Martello 5th 9th 9th Bronze
Germany 2008 Ruhpolding 8th 11th 10th 5th

World Cup[edit]

Season Overall Individual Sprint Pursuit Mass start
Points Position Points Position Points Position Points Position Points Position
2007–08 0 N/A 0 N/A 0 N/A 0 N/A 0 N/A
2008–09 345 24th 33 41st 121 31st 118 19th 73 25th
2009–10 719 5th 97 8th 253 8th 197 1st 152 8th
2010–11 990 3rd 133 3rd 307 4th 320 2nd 230 2nd
2011–12 1100 1st 107 4th 423 1st 384 1st 202 3rd
2012–13 1248 1st 180 1st 484 1st 388 1st 248 1st
2013–14 928 1st 60 7th 400 1st 294 1st 174 1st
2014–15 1042 1st 120 2nd 416 1st 335 1st 186 3rd
2015–16 1151 1st 140 1st 379 1st 391 1st 242 1st

Individual victories[edit]

49 victories (10 In, 14 Sp, 16 Pu, 9 MS); both victories at Winter Olympics 2014 are not count as World Cup victories.

Season Date Location Discipline Level
3 victories
(1 Sp, 2 Pu)
14 March 2010 Finland Kontiolahti 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
18 March 2010 Norway Oslo Holmenkollen 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
20 March 2010 Norway Oslo Holmenkollen 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
3 victories
(1 Pu, 2 MS)
22 January 2011 Italy Antholz-Anterselva 15 km mass start Biathlon World Cup
13 February 2011 United States Fort Kent 15 km mass start Biathlon World Cup
6 March 2011 Russia Khanty-Mansiysk 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Championships
8 victories
(1 In, 3 Sp, 3 Pu, 1 MS)
30 November 2011 Sweden Östersund 20 km individual Biathlon World Cup
4 December 2011 Sweden Östersund 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
11 February 2012 Finland Kontiolahti 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
3 March 2012 Germany Ruhpolding 10 km sprint Biathlon World Championships
4 March 2012 Germany Ruhpolding 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Championships
11 March 2012 Germany Ruhpolding 15 km mass start Biathlon World Championships
16 March 2012 Russia Khanty-Mansiysk 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
17 March 2012 Russia Khanty-Mansiysk 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
10 victories
(3 In, 3 Sp, 2 Pu, 2 MS)
28 November 2012 Sweden Östersund 20 km individual Biathlon World Cup
2 December 2012 Sweden Östersund 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
12 January 2013 Germany Ruhpolding 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
13 January 2013 Germany Ruhpolding 15 km mass start Biathlon World Cup
14 February 2013 Czech Republic Nové Město 20 km individual Biathlon World Championships
2 March 2013 Norway Oslo Holmenkollen 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
7 March 2013 Russia Sochi 20 km individual Biathlon World Cup
9 March 2013 Russia Sochi 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
15 March 2013 Russia Khanty-Mansiysk 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
17 March 2013 Russia Khanty-Mansiysk 15 km mass start Biathlon World Cup
7 victories
(2 In, 1 Sp, 2 Pu, 2 MS)
28 November 2013 Sweden Östersund 20 km individual Biathlon World Cup
30 November 2013 Sweden Östersund 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
9 December 2013 Austria Hochfilzen 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
5 January 2014 Germany Oberhof 15 km mass start Biathlon World Cup
10 February 2014 Russia Sochi 12.5 km pursuit Winter Olympic Games
13 February 2014 Russia Sochi 20 km individual Winter Olympic Games
23 March 2014 Norway Oslo Holmenkollen 15 km mass start Biathlon World Cup
8 victories
(2 In, 3 Sp, 2 Pu, 1 MS)
6 December 2014 Sweden Östersund 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
7 December 2014 Sweden Östersund 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
14 December 2014 Austria Hochfilzen 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
10 January 2015 Germany Oberhof 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
11 January 2015 Germany Oberhof 15 km mass start Biathlon World Cup
12 February 2015 Norway Oslo Holmenkollen 20 km individual Biathlon World Cup
12 March 2015 Finland Kontiolahti 20 km individual Biathlon World Championships
19 March 2015 Russia Khanty-Mansiysk 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
10 victories
(2 In, 3 Sp, 4 Pu, 1 MS)
5 December 2015 Sweden Östersund 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
6 December 2015 Sweden Östersund 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
12 December 2015 Austria Hochfilzen 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
10 January 2016 Germany Ruhpolding 15 km mass start Biathlon World Cup
13 January 2016 Germany Ruhpolding 20 km individual Biathlon World Cup
4 February 2016 Canada Canmore 10 km sprint Biathlon World Cup
12 February 2016 United States Presque Isle 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Cup
5 March 2016 Norway Oslo Holmenkollen 10 km sprint Biathlon World Championships
6 March 2016 Norway Oslo Holmenkollen 12.5 km pursuit Biathlon World Championships
10 March 2016 Norway Oslo Holmenkollen 20 km individual Biathlon World Championships
*Results are from UIPMB and IBU races which include the Biathlon World Cup, Biathlon World Championships and the Winter Olympic Games.


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External links[edit]