Friday 15th January 2021
Relay drama at the home world cup
Horn totally loses his nerve when shooting
Philipp Horn was completely at a loss after his shooting debacle in Oberhof. “During the shooting I had absolutely no idea what I was doing wrong. I tried to shoot in the middle, it didn’t work,” said the Thuringian biathlete, after the bullets simply did not want to find their way to the target. In the lead, the last runner awarded the first possible German relay victory in four years at the World Cup home game.
The 26-year-old had to go into the penalty loop three times after the prone shooting and missed all podium opportunities. Together with Erik Lesser, Benedikt Doll and Arnd Peiffer, Horn finished fifth on his home track after 4×7.5 kilometers. “I’m just disappointed,” said Horn. World champion France secured the victory ahead of Norway and Italy. “It’s very tough,” said Olympic champion Peiffer of the blunder.
Horn’s hit pattern had shifted to the lower left, all shots hit a small radius, just not the targets. “I had the same wind as when I was shooting and I didn’t fire any bad shots,” assured Horn. Peiffer said, “That went stupid. I’m sorry, but that’s part of the business.” Horn then ran almost motionless across the finish line and still didn’t seem to grasp what he had to experience shortly before. “
The re is not so much missing that our season gets through,” said Peiffer anyway.
Lesser convinces with brilliance at the shooting range
The first season triumph in Oberhof for ten years was a long way off after Horn made a mistake. With eight shots – including a spare round – he hit only two targets and had to complete an extra 450 meters in the penalty loop. In addition, Germany bought a total of eleven reloads – too many for the very front.
The former world champion only needed 17.9 seconds for the five targets. Usually 25 seconds are considered very fast. “I thought to myself: now you try it. Fortunately it worked,” said Lesser.
The big favorite Norway was already over a minute behind after a penalty loop. Peiffer remained so confidently in the top group until the Harzer even managed to gain a small lead. Horn, the youngest of the DSV ski hunters at the age of 26, was unable to take advantage of this. “Maybe we put too much on Philipp. We took risks, unfortunately the tactic didn’t work,” said Doll. Horn, who had disappointed in the sprint in 50th place, was apparently actually not up to the pressure.
Certainly he currently “doesn’t have the confidence”, replied Horn, “but I know what I can do”. That was far too little on Friday. To overcome frustration, he will now “maybe box in the front of the closet”.