Denise Herrmann-Wick shot clean for the first time as a biathlete in an individual race on the Pokljuka. Three years later, that doesn't work. That's why it's not enough to win. But Germany's best biathlete is still happy. For good reason.
Denise Herrmann-Wick bit her teeth hard after her shooting mistakes, pulled the last reserves out of her body in the deepening spring snow of Pokljuka - and saved a decent start to the new year: despite two penalties, the biathlon Olympic champion finished sixth her seventh top ten place in the ninth individual race. In particular, the gala in the cross-country ski run raises high hopes for the home world championships.
Herrmann-Wick was almost ten seconds ahead of the second fastest runner of the day, and she made up 13 places with her outstanding final lap alone. "It was one mistake too many for the podium," said the 34-year-old on ZDF: "But the fastest time is really cool. I divided it up well, I felt good." The clean-shooting Swedish winner, Elvira Öberg, was 36.3 seconds short.
The high-altitude training camps of the former cross-country skier in Davos and Antholz at the turn of the year really took off. "The phase was very important for the World Cup, I was able to make good volume. I'm very happy," emphasized Herrmann-Wick: "The path is right." The only blemish were the two mistakes, in both attacks a target remained standing despite good conditions.
"If I go away with zero, there will be a different level of self-confidence," rejoiced the woman from Oberwiesenthal. She can already do better in the pursuer on Saturday, not even 20 seconds off the podium. It is currently a matter of mastering a balancing act, she explained. Although the “distant view” is already on the World Cup, which begins on February 8th, “you still have to stay in the here and now”.
Hopeful Franziska Preuss did not make the trip to the Slovenian plateau because of an infection. You will not take any risks on your return, the construction plan is "clear" in the direction of the World Cup, emphasized team doctor Katerina Blume. Vanessa Hinz also had to postpone her planned return to the World Cup a few hours before the start because of "upper respiratory tract symptoms".
Overall World Cup winner Marte Olsbu Röiseland (1 penalty loop/ 59.9 seconds) just missed the top 15 on her season debut after a persistent corona infection and shingles. Vanessa Voigt (0/ 1:15.1) and Anna Weidel (0/ 1:24.2) did not make it into the top 20 at plus degrees, Janina Hettich-Walz (3/ 2:00.9) and Sophia Schneider (4 / 2:34.3) clearly missed the points.