Biathlon: Old man congratulates man in yellow: Will give Rees a boost

Three-time Olympic biathlon champion Michael Greis is keeping his fingers crossed for Roman Rees that he doesn't have to give up the yellow jersey of the leader in the overall World Cup straight away.

Biathlon: Old man congratulates man in yellow: Will give Rees a boost

Three-time Olympic biathlon champion Michael Greis is keeping his fingers crossed for Roman Rees that he doesn't have to give up the yellow jersey of the leader in the overall World Cup straight away.

“Maybe he can defend it, I would wish him that,” said the 47-year-old to the German Press Agency. But, he added: “It’s of course a different league.”

Rees celebrated the first World Cup victory of his career at the start in Östersund, Sweden, and was the first German to win the yellow jersey since Greis almost 15 years ago. Greis had also won the opening individual race over 20 kilometers in Östersund on December 3, 2008 and then started the sprint in yellow three days later. But the Allgäuer only came 14th and had to hand over the title to the Norwegian Emil Hegle Svendsen. Since then, no German ski hunter has made it into the prestigious jersey of the World Cup leader.

German biathletes are also strong

Rees won ahead of his equally outstanding teammate Justus Strelow and overall World Cup winner Johannes Thingnes Bö. "We experienced something incredible today and I'm super proud. Maybe it won't be the last time," said Rees. According to sports director Felix Bitterling, the yellow jersey was "joked about" in the run-up to the races on Sunday. This is now a bonus for the team, but especially for Roman. Another point that is great today," said Bitterling and announced that the successes of Rees, Strelow and the women with Franziska Preuß (2nd) and Vanessa Voigt (3rd) would be celebrated a bit.

"I wish Roman that he can still wear it one day or another. But if you look at Johannes Thingnes Bö's series, then it will be hard," said the three-time world champion old man. The Norwegian Bö had won 19 races in the previous season including the World Cup and, with third place, has now been on the podium 23 times in a row across the seasons.

"Roman's victory was sensational, it will certainly give him and the team a boost because it is something special," said Greis. Rees will start the sprint in yellow next Saturday. Before that, the women's relay (Wednesday) and men's relay (Thursday) and the women's sprint (Friday) take place.

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