What a women’s relay at the Biathlon World Cup in Ruhpolding: After the German team gave up at half-time in 15th place, Franziska Hildebrand and Denise Herrmann surpassed themselves – and almost ended up on the podium.
Three weeks before the start of the Olympic Games, the German biathletes are still looking for form. Vanessa Voigt, Vanessa Hinz, Franziska Hildebrand and Denise Herrmann finished fourth at the home World Cup in Ruhpolding in the relay over 4×6 km, 1:26.6 minutes behind. Nevertheless, the DSV team showed an impressive race to catch up.
In the absence of front woman Franziska Preuss, who, according to women’s trainer Kristian Mehringer, continues to have “minor problems with her corona infection”, a penalty loop by Hinz cost all chances of the first relay podium of the winter. France, the only nation with the best team, won with four spares in 1:10:50.0 hours. Behind them, Sweden (0 penalties+2 spare rounds/+35.1 seconds) and Russia (0+6/+1:12.2) completed the podium.
Youngster Voigt started the quartet well with clean shooting, handing over in third, 18 seconds back. But then Hinz missed a shot in standing despite three spares, and it fell far back to 15th place. Hildebrand, with clean shooting, and the hard-running Herrmann, with two spares, were only able to limit the damage. “Anyone who knows biathlon knows that it’s only over when you’ve crossed the finish line,” explained a visibly satisfied Herrmann on the ZDF microphone after the race.
The men continue the Ruhpolding week on Saturday (from 2.30 p.m. in the t-online live ticker) with the relay. At the end on Sunday, the followers of the women (12.45 p.m. in live ticker from t-online) and men (2.45 p.m. in live ticker from t-online) are on the program.
After that, the German biathletes travel to the Olympic outfitting in Munich on Monday, before they go to Antholz (February 20th to 23rd) for the dress rehearsal.