Continuing the successful series of the season, Benedikt consoles Doll over his corrupt performance at the shooting range. “If it wasn't for that I would have been more upset,” the former world champion said after finishing second at the World Cup in Ruhpolding. Of all people, the two-time reigning champion committed two penalties on Thursday and missed what would have been the team's first win in nearly three years. “It's crazy that something like this could happen after so many years in biathlon,” said Doll, who could not believe his failure in front of 12,000 spectators.
The men's relay finished second at the World Cup in Ruhpolding
A standing shooting error pushed the German quartet back to seventh place after a long lead. Thanks to a very strong performance by the last runner, Filip Neurath, only Olympic champion Norway reached the finish earlier. Justus Strehlo, Johannes Kuhn, Doll and Norrat were 45.0 seconds behind the Scandinavians after 4 x 7.5 km and Italy secured third place. For the DSV ski anglers, it was a fourth podium finish in the fourth relay of the winter. On Wednesday, the German women finished third at the start.
“I have to slow down a little bit,” Doll said. The 33-year-old told broadcaster ZDF that he tended to shoot too quickly: “That's not my thing and that bothers me. “But what the other three did is the most impressive.” Norat also agreed and heaped praise on his teammates a month before the race. Important World Championship in the Czech Republic: “It is a testament to our huge constitution that we are still able to achieve a podium finish.”
Debutant sprinter Strehlow took the lead shortly after the start and stayed well ahead at the first shot with a reserve. Shortly afterwards, in ideal conditions with little wind and good visibility, 12,000 fans cheered as Strelow stormed into the lead again after a perfect standing stage. “The goal was to deliver with the leadership group. We succeeded,” Strehlow said.
Biathlete Benedikt Doll with two missed shots, Norat saves the score
Kühn arrived at the track with a 0.3 second lead over France, followed by a full line of pursuers. This also included the Norwegians, who have previously won all three relay races this winter. However, the Olympic champions decided not to use the somewhat weaker Johannes Thingnes Boe, who took a voluntary break. As Kühn also turned away all five targets, favorite Norway did not advance, but Johannes Dale-Skjevdal took over before the next trip to the shooting range.
After three more rounds, he quickly lost first place again, and Kuhn consolidated his place in the first group with a spare round, and despite a short stumble, he managed to hand over first place to former world champion Dole, ahead of the French. The two-time season winner was initially successful with all five shots before the Black Forest native wasted all chances of victory. Two penalty kicks in the standing phase brought the team back to seventh place, while veteran Taraji Poe advanced confidently.
The German runner, Norrat, started in seventh place, a minute behind the Norwegian, but worked his way back up to third place before the final fire – finally moving to the front with a show of strength.
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