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German biathletes continue to search for form

The German biathletes are slightly improved three weeks before the Olympics. A penalty loop by Vanessa Hinz costs all podium chances early on.

Vanessa Hinz trudged through the finish area with her head hanging down, even the warm words of her teammate Denise Herrmann could not console her.

With her blackout in standing, the 29-year-old ruined all chances of the German relay team getting the long-awaited liberation three weeks before the Olympics.

After their penalty loop, the quartet of the German Ski Association (DSV) had their sights set on the top of the world with binoculars early on, but their teammates were able to limit the damage on the 4×6 km.

Franziska Hildebrand and Denise Herrmann made up eleven places after the faux pas and led the relay team, which Vanessa Voigt also started well, to fourth place, 1:26.6 minutes behind.

A conciliatory result after the catastrophic sprint on Wednesday, but not the turning point that was hoped for given the competition, which, apart from the victorious French, was more of a second set.

Hinz: “I would have preferred to look for a hole”

“I would have preferred to look for a hole and jump in while standing,” said Hinz: “I can’t explain it. I stand on the stand and only tremble with my legs from the first shot. I didn’t have one second Keep your gun steady. I’m glad I didn’t have five penalties.” The health of the actual front runner Franziska Preuss is also a cause for concern.

It seems more questionable than ever whether the overall World Cup third place from the previous winter until the Olympics will become a real reinforcement. “Franzi is not doing quite so well. She still has minor problems with her corona infection,” said women’s trainer Kristian Mehringer on ZDF. Preuss is not yet in training. The hope remains that “it will go uphill in the next few days, but at the moment it is not the case that she can think about competitions.”

Olympic dress rehearsal increases in Antholz

The hoped-for start in Antholz (January 21 to 23), where the last pre-Olympic season is due, among other things, should therefore be ruled out. In their absence, Voigt put the quartet well into action with clean shooting, tagging 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. There is a chance of making amends individually in the pursuer on Sunday (12:45 p.m.). However, the starting positions of the German runners are miserable.

The men continue their Ruhpolding week on Saturday (2:30 p.m.) with the relay. Erik Lesser, Roman Rees, Benedikt Doll and Philipp Nawrath are aiming for the first German podium of the winter in a team competition over 4×7.5 km. After the men’s chase race on Sunday (2:45 p.m./all ZDF and Eurosport), the German biathletes travel to the Olympic outfit in Munich on Monday before going to Antholz (20th to 23rd January) for the dress rehearsal.

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