No medal at the end: bitter Biathlon World Cup ends in disappointment

No medal at the end: bitter Biathlon World Cup ends in disappointment

No medal at the end
Bitter Biathlon World Cup ends disappointingly

 The  German biathlon team ended a lackluster world championship with two medals – there have never been fewer since reunification. On the last day of the competitions, the mass starts did not improve the bleak results. Looking to the future does not create optimism.
At the end of a World Cup that was so disappointing for the German biathletes, all that remained for Arnd Peiffer was congratulations to the winner. With twelfth place in the mass start, the native of Harz concluded the season highlight in Pokljuka, Slovenia, which ended badly with only two silver medals, as only once before since reunification. Also in 2013 in Nove Mesto there were only two precious metals for the DSV ski hunters, one silver and one bronze. © The  targeted medal yield of four to five was not achieved, and some races were even historically weak.

“We certainly did not achieve what we wanted to achieve. We are not 100 percent satisfied, but it wasn’t all bad,” said national coach Mark Kirchner. ©

 The  only reason to celebrate on the final weekend was the strong women’s relay, which Franziska Preuss had led to silver in the last meters on Saturday with an energetic performance. ©

 The  Bavarian was not able to reward herself with an individual medal. “I see that I can do it, there are just small adjustments that sometimes don’t fit. But I made a really good World Cup and I’ll take that with me,” said Preuss after finishing sixth in the mass start on Sunday.

“Confirms my way”

Fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth – the 26-year-old completed the races with impressive consistency. In the end, however, the DSV women, who were once so spoiled for success, were left with no precious metal for the first time since 1997 at a World Cup in individual competitions. “It’s really difficult. You need a really good day,” said Preuss: “I had the goal of winning an individual medal. I couldn’t do that.”

In the men’s category, Peiffer succeeded with silver in the singles, but the men’s relay failed on Saturday with a crash on the podium finish. After an inexplicable drop in performance from starter Erik Lesser, the Thuringian only finished seventh together with Roman Rees, Peiffer and Benedikt Doll. ©

 The  favored Norwegians won gold in the women and men. In the final sprint shortly before the finish line, Preuss ousted the Ukrainian Olena Pidruschna by 0.4 seconds to third. “I’m really good as a runner, that confirms my path,” said Preuss, who was the German ray of hope in the extremely mixed world championships.

Denise Herrmann also came to the World Cup with medal ambitions, but had to leave before the final with an illness. ©

 The  Saxon was absent from the mass start won by Austrian Lisa ©

 The resa Hauser, but should be back at the next World Cup. It was a precautionary measure, said team doctor Jan Wüstenfeld. Herrmann was also not infected with Corona.

A year before the Olympic Games in Beijing, it became clear on Pokljuka that German ski hunters had a lot of work ahead of them. ©

 The  Norwegians (14 medals), the French (7) and Swedes (6) in particular are broader and better positioned. “©

 The y performed more consistently than our team,” said DSV Sports Director Bernd Eisenbichler: “We have to see what we can improve in order to have consistency at a higher level.” At the Olympics, the team wants to show itself differently, said women’s coach Kristian Mehringer: “That’s our big goal. ©

 The n maybe we’ll be the laughing ones.”

Worry about generation change

While the women were often only missing a little up front, the men’s ideas were sometimes terrifying. In the first week of the World Cup, the protégés of national coach Kirchner delivered the worst sprint in their history. Peiffer was 36th as the best, only to bring redemption a few days later with the first medal.

In the World Cup final, Peiffer was again the best in the mass start victory of Norwegian Sturla Holm Laegreid, but also had no chance. ©

 The  appearance of Lesser in particular caused concern, who was far from the best form of earlier days in all his appearances and left Pokljuka early in frustration. ©

 The se moments showed how difficult it could be for men in the near future. In Peiffer (33), Lesser (32) and Doll (30), the top performers are already quite old, and almost no talent is pushing the national team from below. ©

 The re have been no youngsters with great potential at DSV for several years, and that is no different for women.

In Simon Schempp (32), the long-standing number one has just resigned after persistent form weakness. At least Peiffer and Lesser should follow suit no later than two years after the home World Cup in Oberhof. But what comes after that? One deals with the issue of young talent, said Eisenbichler: “We know that we have to work on these things.” While many talents are coming up in Norway or France and causing tough internal competition, a generation change in Germany is not in sight.

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medal bitter Biathlon World Cup ends disappointment


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