Saturday 20th February 2021
Perfect shooting from Preuss
Biathlon relay crowns catch-up with silver
Franziska Preuß threw her arms up after her phenomenal final sprint, then her teammates welcomed her at the finish with loud cheers. Thanks to an outstanding performance, last runner Preuss secured the longed-for first medal for the German biathletes at the World Championships in Pokljuka on Saturday with silver. With a final show of strength on the home straight, Preuss caught the Ukrainian Olena Pidruschna by 0.4 seconds – and was then able to celebrate the all-important liberation with Vanessa Hinz, Janina Hettich and Denise Herrmann.
“I noticed, that’s enough. It was really a really nice feeling. It is extremely good for everyone, the whole team,” said Preuss. It prevented the first medalless World Cup for the German women since 1987. As in the previous year, gold went to Norway. Previously, only Arnd Peiffer had won a medal for the German team with an individual silver.
“You saw again during the week that competitive sport is really tough. Now it’s mega-cool that we caught the day today and have something to celebrate,” said Preuss, who laid the foundation for the sense of achievement with two quick and error-free shooting bouts had placed on ZDF. In the previous individual races, Preuss and Co. had narrowly missed a medal.
The y were close, but never good enough – until now.
It looked like the next disappointment
In the meantime, it looked like the next World Cup disappointment. After a strong start by Hinz, who was the only one of the current team to take part in the last World Cup victory in 2017 in Hochfilzen, the deficit of the not-so-strong Hettich in their first World Championship season grew to one minute. “I’m so happy that I have such a cool team around me, the others were really amazing,” said Hettich, who handed over to Herrmann in sixth place, relieved.
Herrmann started the race to catch up. Lying down with three spare rounds, she just avoided the penalty loop, but then shot zero while standing and sent Preuss to the final in fifth with a 43-second mortgage. “We know that a lot can happen in a relay race. I said before that we always fight to the end and we really had to fight to the end, and that paid off,” said the strong Hinz, who was looking forward to it. how Preuss went hunting for the top.
And the girlfriend of Simon Schempp, who resigned shortly before the World Cup, showed why she is the most consistent German this winter. After the last shooting, she went into the final lap second. After Pidruschna passed her, it looked like bronze at first. But the Bavarian struck back. “It was awesome,” said discipline trainer Florian Steirer.
The title fights in Slovenia will end on Sunday with the mass start races for women over 12.5 kilometers (12.30 p.m.) and men over 15 kilometers (3.15 p.m. / ZDF and Eurosport).