Biathlon: Doll finishes last relay race with a podium finish

Biathlon veteran Benedikt Doll finished the last relay race of his career with a smile on his face.

Biathlon: Doll finishes last relay race with a podium finish

Biathlon veteran Benedikt Doll finished the last relay race of his career with a smile on his face.

The 2017 sprint world champion handed over to the German final runner Philipp Nawrath, who was on course for the podium, who made third place perfect for the German Ski Association quartet. As in every World Cup relay race so far this season, Germany was again on the podium in the US Soldier Hollow. Only at the World Championships in Nove Mesto was it only enough for fourth place.

For the first time ever, the 33-year-old Doll was left without a spare in a relay race. "I only had one goal: to shoot cleanly. I'm very, very happy about that," said Doll, who announced the end of his career in February, to ARD. "I didn't feel good at all when it came to running. You start running. It's still going well and suddenly the man comes with the hammer and you're standing in the mountain and you think there's nothing left to do."

Doll's teammates Justus Strelow (2 spares), Johannes Kühn (3) and Philipp Nawrath (3) also managed to avoid a penalty loop, in contrast to the stumbling co-favorites France and Sweden.

Norway cannot be beaten

The dominators from Norway secured victory ahead of Italy and Germany, although their starting runner Sturla Holm Laegreid earned three extra laps in the standing position. But the 20-time world champion Johannes Thingnes Bö in third position took the lead for the Scandinavians.

Meanwhile, Strelow passed in fifth place to Kühn, who missed twice while lying down and once while standing. “That wasn’t ideal,” said Kühn. "It was a bit unusual at the height, I wobbled quite a lot while lying down." Contrary to expectations, things went much better on his second appearance. "I was even more worried before that. Because if it wobbles lying down, it usually doesn't get any better standing up. But that worked well. But running was damn hard."

Doll then brought the DSV quartet up to third place, which Nawrath claimed. The 31-year-old had to admit defeat to Lukas Hofer in the finish sprint. “Of course it was my goal to keep up,” said Nawrath, who was 27.3 seconds behind at the finish. "But I noticed that he was still lively and then it was too difficult to get past."

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