Biathlon World Cup
Doll on shooting mistakes: “World-famous eggs were missing”
The German biathletes missed further podium finishes on the last World Cup weekend of the year. Benedikt Doll is seventh, and Franziska Preuß cracks the World Cup norm in the mass start.
Benedikt Doll has found his smile again, but the German biathlon women go into the Christmas break sobered.
Doll’s uptick in spirit was tied to his seventh place finish in Sunday’s mass start, a day after the equipment tussle. Only the last of a total of two failed attempts annoyed the Black Forester a bit after the last World Cup race of the calendar year in Le Grand-Bornand, France. “I missed the world-famous eggs a bit,” he said casually. “I didn’t quite dare. I dropped it again and then wanted to do it very precisely. I aimed for too long.”
Many athletes are looking forward to Christmas with their families. “I’m happy to spend time with my wife and my son and to have a good meal,” said hobby chef Doll. He and Denise Herrmann-Wick will then contest their last race of the year on December 28 at Schalke, as will Vanessa Voigt and Philipp Nawrath, who is absent in France due to injury, in the World Team Challenge. Unlike Doll, Herrmann-Wick will not be happy yet. She makes a stopover in Davos to train.
Franziska Preuss breaks the World Cup norm
In the French Alps, the Saxon, who was strong again on the cross-country ski run, had difficulties at the shooting range. Five penalties prevented a second top finish after finishing third on Friday. The Olympic champion finished 21st, 1:41.2 minutes behind the winner Lisa Theresa Hauser. The Austrian, who won the 2021 World Championship title in the mass start, missed just one target and ended up ahead of the two local heroes Julia Simon ( 2 misses) and Anais Chevalier-Bouchet (1). However, this did not detract from the French party atmosphere on the cross-country ski run and in the grandstand.
Franziska Preuß, who broke the World Cup norm with 15th place, showed a positive trend. “I notice that the running is going uphill, that makes me positive,” said Preuss, who had missed the start of the year due to a viral disease, in an interview with ARD. “I still have to work on standing. Now I know what I have to do during the Christmas break. And then we’ll attack again in January.”
With Doll, too, the standing position ensured that he could not endanger the dominant competition from Norway. Nevertheless, after third place in the sprint on Thursday and a good performance at the end, he left “actually very satisfied”. Johannes Dale secured his first win of the season (2 shooting errors). He won 0.3 seconds ahead of Sturla Holm Laegreid (2) and Johannes Thingnes Bö (3).
Overall World Cup leader Bö also got along better with the course, which was much better prepared on Sunday. The day before, the Scandinavian, who is usually the strongest runner, had had to prevent a fall in spectacular fashion several times. He had therefore described the persecution as a “parody”. Doll also had problems on Saturday. “The conditions were fantastic, it was a lot more fun today,” he said. “It was balm for the biathlon soul.” His teammates Roman Rees (16th), Justus Strelow (18th) and David Zobel (19th) had nothing to do with the decision.
The aim of the German biathletes is the home world championship
The German men thus end the first trimester with five podium places. “It was pretty good, there was a win every weekend so I’m pretty happy,” said Rees. “After a bit of a break, we can continue with renewed strength.”
The women have been on the podium three times so far. With two penalties, Vanessa Voigt finished 13th as the best DSV athlete in the mass start. Anna Weidel (18th) and Sophia Schneider (28th) clearly lost out.
The big goal of the German biathletes is a top condition at the home world championships from February 8th to 19th, 2023 in Oberhof. Before that, the event at Schalke and three other World Cup stations are on the program.