“I'm super relieved”
Preuß missed the World Cup podium as the second best non-French woman
The French biathletes dominate the first individual decision at the Biathlon World Cup. There is a quadruple success in the sprint. A Latvian came in fifth place, followed by Franziska Preuß who redeemed herself for her weak relay performance.
Franziska Preuß fell into the soft snow, completely exhausted. After her bitter disappointment in the relay, it wasn't enough to get the medal she had hoped for in the sprint, but after sixth place in the historic French quadruple triumph, the 29-year-old found her smile again.
“I'm extremely relieved. Of course, the World Championships are about medals, and this mistake was too much again. But the way things went in the mixed relay, I'm proud that I didn't let myself get dragged down. Now we can move on,” said the 29-year-old freely after she cost the German relay team the podium on Wednesday with poor shooting.
She had been able to come up with a good strategy the day before. And the conversations with coach Sverre Olsbu Röiseland and sports director Felix Bitterling also helped the best German ski hunter, said Preuß. A year after Denise Herrmann-Wick's World Cup gold, the Bavarian only missed the penultimate of her ten shots. It wouldn't have been enough to win her second individual World Cup medal after silver in the mass start in 2015 without making a mistake.
For the pursuer on Sunday (2.30 p.m./ARD and Eurosport) over 10 kilometers, Preuß gained a “top starting position. I have regained my self-confidence. Now I want to annoy the French.” Today they were in a class of their own in the 7.5 kilometer race in mild temperatures. Julia Simon triumphed after shooting flawlessly in 20:07.5 minutes. For the 27-year-old, it was her second gold in Nove Mesto after winning the mixed relay.
Voigt, Hettich-Walz and Schneider rejected
Simon (“It's a dream, perfect”) won by 4.9 seconds, just ahead of her teammate Justine Braisaz-Bouchet (1), with whom she is in a legal dispute. Bronze went to Lou Jeanmonnot (1/+40.8) ahead of Sophie Chauveau (1/+44.2). Preuß crossed the finish line 1:05.3 minutes behind Simon. After a shooting error, third place was only 25 seconds away. The best non-French woman was Latvian Baiba Bendika in fifth place (+46.5).
Vanessa Voigt (1/+1:42.5) is already over a minute behind the top 3 in the pursuit. Janina Hettich-Walz has little chance after three shooting errors (+2:14.8). “It's very annoying because it was the last target. The running was very tough, those are just not my conditions,” said Voigt sobered after 18th place. Hettich-Walz also complained on ARD: “I had shaky legs when standing. I'm extremely disappointed that I ran my worst sprint of the season at the peak of the season.” Sophia Schneider (2/2:04.4) couldn't be happy either.
On Saturday (5:05 p.m./ARD and Eurosport) the men's sprint over 10 kilometers continues in Nove Mesto. The DSV nominated Benedikt Doll, who has already won two World Cup sprints this winter, Johannes Kühn, Philipp Horn and Philipp Nawrath. “I would like to be at an award ceremony again,” said Doll.
However, the top favorites are the Norwegians around Johannes Thingnes Bö. The last World Cup triumph by a German biathlete was five years ago, Arnd Peiffer won in Östersund in 2019. The men did not win a medal at the last two major events.