Biathlon Olympic champion Denise Herrmann-Wick started the World Cup year with a solid performance.
In the first race after the Christmas break, the 34-year-old finished sixth in the sprint on Pokljuka. The Saxon made two penalties in Slovenia, but delivered the fastest time and the fastest last lap. After 7.5 kilometers, despite 300 extra meters, she was only 36.3 seconds behind the clear winner Elvira Öberg from Sweden.
Second was the French overall World Cup leader Julia Simon (0 errors/ 6.9 seconds) ahead of Italy's Dorothea Wierer (0/ 18.7 seconds). The other German starters did not manage any top rankings. This puts Herrmann-Wick in a good starting position for the pursuit on Saturday.
Former world champion Vanessa Hinz had to give up her World Cup return at short notice. Since Wednesday evening, the Bavarian has been suffering from symptoms "in the area of the upper respiratory tract that do not allow participation in competitions," as the German team doctor Katharina Blume said. Hinz left on Thursday. Participation in the home World Cup in Oberhof (February 8th to 19th) is becoming increasingly unlikely due to the new health setback.
Another top performer in Slovenia, Franziska Preuss, was also ill.