Friday, February 8, 2019
Biathlete Franziska Hildebrand takes fourth place in the singles game before the start of the World Championship in Canmore, Canada. The two-time Olympic champion Laura Dahlmeier, however, makes two shooting errors and then runs away. In the meantime Erik Lesser qualifies for the World Championship.
When Franziska Hildebrand stole the show of the German biathlon queen Laura Dahlmeier with a furious performance in the Canmore refrigerator, Erik Lesser had long been in a hurry after his long-awaited liberation. While Lesser secured his ticket for the World Championships in Östersund, Sweden, from 7 to 17 March in the singles at the renewed power demonstration of the Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Bö, Hildebrand just missed her first podium finish of the season in fourth place.
In the finale, Hildebrand first had to demand medical attention after their best seasonal performance. "She has had a small collapse of the bloodstream, but she has already smiled", team doctor Jan Wüstenfeld left the ARD microphone completely empty. Third place Italian Lisa Vittozzi (0 shooting errors / 20.9 seconds back) had previously missed Hildebrand in the single race, which was shortened because of the cold in the Rocky Mountains to 12.5 kilometers, only 26.9 seconds.
At temperatures below minus 10 degrees, the Norwegian Tiril Eckhoff celebrated her first win of the season despite an error on the shooting range, second place went to the flawless Czech Marketa Davidova (9.8). The second best Germans was Vanessa Hinz after a missed shot in the sixth. Double-Olympic champion Dahlmeier made two errors at the start of her World Cup dress rehearsal and was ninth. Denise Herrmann (14th) and Franziska Preuß (18th) also achieved the top-20.
Bö remains untouchable
Previously, Lesser had given a place on the podium by a mistake in the last shot of more than 15 kilometers, but it was enough for the best result of the season after having finished twenty-two seventeen places. "Erik did a very good race at the shooting range", praised national coach Mark Kirchner. Arnd Peiffer, however, said after two shooting errors and grade 13: "It was okay, nothing more." Philipp Nawrath became 17th.
The standard remains the only Olympic champion Bö. The 25-year-old Noor, thanks to an impeccable performance, has set his sights on the palmares of the Frenchman Martin Fourcade of 14 victories in the season 2016/2017 with ten races to go. On his compatriot Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen in second place, Bö had a gigantic advantage of 2: 10.2 minutes, third was the Russian Alexander Loginow.
The athletes were packed in the icy temperatures close to the start, many protecting her face with colorful spots. It was "almost jumpy" in the Canadian Rocky Mountains compared to the previous days, as Florian Styrer, the women's discipline coach, joked. The icy cold of partly just below 30 degrees on the previous days had turned the schedule upside down. The planned seasons for Saturday were brought forward to Friday (from 8.30 pm CET), instead of the massive start on Sunday. Sprints should take place on Saturday (from 20:20 CET / all ARD and Eurosport). In addition to the shorter distance, the organizers also reduced the individual time penalties for shooting errors from one minute to 45 seconds.