“I knew I could do it”: German biathlon surprise in Ruhpolding

NAfter the longed-for liberation shortly before the Olympic Winter Games, Benedikt Doll briefly showed his fist cheering. Even if it wasn’t quite enough for the third World Cup success of his career on Thursday in Ruhpolding, the former world champion was extremely relieved. With second place in the sprint, the 31-year-old from the Black Forest finally reported back to the top of the world. In the triumph of Frenchman Quentin Fillon Maillet, Doll was only 7.2 seconds short of first place after ten kilometers.

“I knew I could, but I never got it across. Today it finally worked, “said Doll on ZDF:” In terms of running things went really well. I’m at full throttle – and finally flawless. “

Perfect performance at the shooting range

The basis for the top result was precisely that perfect performance at the shooting range. The strong running veteran had only managed to do that five times in his career and came close to the overall World Cup leader. “It hasn’t happened that often,” said Doll: “When I was standing, I was just super calm. This feeling gives security. I hope I can use that again in the next races. ”So he kept Anton Smolski from Belarus in third place with a penalty lap behind him.

For Doll it was an exemption in the absence of the stars from Norway around Johannes Thingnes Bö, who all complete an altitude training camp and did not start in Ruhpolding. Previously, the veteran had only made it into the top ten once this season. Punctually a good three weeks before the start of the Olympic Games in China, the world champion in this discipline from 2017 is back. “I took the biggest step more mentally, not with the technique,” ​​said Doll about his impeccable shooting performance, which even made the otherwise rather cool national coach Mark Kirchner cheer euphorically.

In Erik Lesser (1 mistake), a second German made it way up in sixth and made Johannes Kühn’s bitter failure to be forgotten. Germany’s best ski hunter to date in the past few weeks was missing in Bavaria due to a corona infection discovered on Wednesday. “It was also really fun to kill me,” said Lesser and was also a little annoyed: “Without the mistake, there would have been more.”

At the finish the 33-year-old Thuringian was 43.3 seconds behind, but just like Lesser, he was rewarded with his strongest race of the winter. Roman Rees (1 mistake) made it from 20th place, David Zobel (1) to 24th.

The home World Cup, which takes place in front of empty spectators due to the corona, will continue on Friday (2.30 p.m. / ZDF and Eurosport) with the women’s relay. For the women, it’s about an increase after the disappointing sprint. Franziska Hildebrand was 17th as the best DSV ski hunter on Wednesday.

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