He had been lying in the finish area for minutes, completely exhausted. The disappointment seemed to paralyze him further. Only with the help of the supervisor did he get back on his feet – and disappear without a word from Pokljuka. The former medal guarantor of the German biathletes experienced a devastating World Cup in Slovenia, which ended for the DSV on Sunday with a twelfth place for Arnd Peiffer in the mass start.
The Thuringian lost almost 52 seconds on the final lap, runners from Bulgaria, Japan or the Republic of Moldova flew past Lesser. “I don’t have a real explanation,” said DSV doctor Jan Wüstenfeld helplessly.
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Lesser “suffered badly”
Sports director Bernd Eisenbichler said in the ZDFthat it is “always difficult to assess”. Lesser had “struggled with gastrointestinal tract in preparation”.
The body closed. That was the worst for him.”
Lesser is also silent on social media
Lesser got consolation from his teammates. He already “didn’t look good when he ran in. It exploded. It is of course bitter that it happened at the climax. I am so sorry for him”, said roommate Arnd Peiffer.
The 32-year-old left the target area with his head hanging, and he was silent on social media as well as in front of the TV cameras. Would he even have had an explanation for this horror World Cup on the Slovenian plateau? On the days before, he had been tough on me.
“That is sure deeply with him,” said the former biathlete Sven Fischer in his role as ZDF-Expert: “It didn’t go bad on purpose.”
Lesser “is really ashamed”
At the start of the World Cup he “ruined the day for the other three” in the mixed relay, and seventh place was a “go in the toilet”. After the debacle in the sprint in 66th place, he asked himself “why I’m part of the World Cup team”.
The three-time Olympic medalist said clearly, “I’m really ashamed.”
Even the pause for thought after the missed pursuer did not bring the former Pursuit World Champion the hoped-for turnaround. On the contrary. In the single-mixed season, he “made the pile in the toilet, and Franzi then flushed it down”. Instead of the targeted medal with Franziska Preuss, it was again the disappointing seventh place (biathlon: World Cup stands).
Does Lesser think about retiring again?
Finally, the fiasco in the season. Lesser said after the first races that he knew that he was “really up to it”. He had shown that at the start of the season in Kontiolahti with third place in the individual. In Pokljuka, however, nothing went together.
In the past, Lesser has often proven that he comes back stronger after setbacks. Last winter, too, he experienced a season to forget, only to go home with two relay medals at the World Championships in Antholz. And now? (Biathlon World Cup: Calendar for the 2020/21 season)
Lesser had thought of the resignation that his long-time companion Simon Schempp had made, before the season he was “close to the end of his career”, as he was SID betrayed. Belief in his comeback qualities kept him going. It remains to be seen whether this belief will also carry him to the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2022 and the 2023 home World Cup in Oberhof (Simon Schempp in the SPORT1 interview: That’s why I broke up).
Eisenbichler sees “no evidence” for a resignation.
Lesser no longer wanted to comment on this in Pokljuka. He just wanted to go home.
With sports information service