March 29 - France has ended the second CISM World Winter Games at the top of the nation's ranking table after its women won the patrol race in Le Grand Bornand on home snow today to overtake their Italian rivals.
In what the French Army Commander General Bertrand Ract-Madoux has called "a huge success", the home athletes secured 12 gold, seven silver and 11 bronze medals, with the last top podium spot coming from Coraline Hugue, Sophie Boilley, Anaïs Bescond and Marine Bolliet who finished today's 15 kilometre Nordic skiing and shooting race in 44min 21.99sec .
"We have wonderful people, men and women, they are excellent, they do their best, they train so much and they are so happy to take part," Ract-Madoux told insidethegames.
"It's very good to meet military people of this country who are at such a high level in sport.
"It is really a huge success."
The Italian women's team of Nicole Gontier, Dorothea Wierer, Karin Oberhofer and Michela Ponza had to settle for second place in 45:24.13, as did the nation on the overall medals table when they finished the competition with 11 gold, 10 silver and three bronze medals.
Sweden's women – Maria Gräfnings, Elin Mattsson, Emelie Larsson and Mona Brorsson – took the bronze in the patrol after finishing in 45:55.29, the nation's only medal of the Games and which saw it finish 14th on the medal table.
A gold medal finish for Switzerland's men's team in the patrol saw the nation come third on the overall medal table with five gold medals, three silver and three bronze.
Remo Fischer, Ivan Joller, Mario Dolder and Benjamin Weger finished the 25km race in 1 hour 06min 38.53sec, ahead of Austrians Johannes Duerr, Dominik Landertinger, Michael Reiter and Peter Brunner, who finished in 1:07:26.69.
Austria ended up in fifth place on the overall table with a total of nine medals of mixed colours.
Speaking to insidethegames, Dolder said, however, it was not easy to win the medal, which made him all the more delighted with the podium spot.
"For me it was a really hard race because I had problems on the track as my shape is going down at the end of the season, but in the end it was a very good race for the team," he explained.
"In the end we are the winners and this is great for us."
The Italian men took the bronze in the patrol as Christian Martinelli, Markus Windisch, Dominik Windisch and Lukas Hofer crossed the finish line in 1:07:58.01.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
March 2013: French skiers sweep the board in cross country event at CISM World Winter Games
March 2013: Olympic champion Razzoli claims gold at CISM World Winter Games
March 2013: Sickness scuppers world champion Worley's giant slalom gold medal campaign
March 2013: Double medal glory for China and Italy in CISM Games short track speed skating races
March 2013: Home nation dominate on first day of competition at Annecy 2013 CISM Winter World Games