After the worst World Cup placement of the winter, biathlon world champion Denise Herrmann-Wick was at a loss and frustrated.
Four penalties in the second prone stage not only meant the premature end of the Östersund mass start for the Olympic champion, but with the disappointing 23rd place she also had to accept a setback in the fight for a top 3 place in the overall World Cup. "I then tried not to let myself down, it was damage limitation. But of course that tears in properly," said the 34-year-old, who ended up having to run a total of five penalties. In the meantime, the Saxon had even been in penultimate place.
Herrmann-Wick: "I have my problems this season"
Mass start and Herrmann-Wick - that doesn't fit at all this season. "I've always had my problems this season. Woman against woman in the big field - I'm not quite able to stay with myself," said the sprint world champion from Oberhof on ZDF. Already in Annecy, the individual Olympic champion was only 21st (5 penalties), it went even worse in the World Championships mass start with rank 24 (5 penalties).
The races in central Sweden, where the former cross-country skier won her first world title in 2019 after switching to the ski hunters, had started well with third place in the individual. But already on Saturday, when the men had also celebrated third place in the relay with Östersund individual winner Benedikt Doll, Herrmann-Wick was not able to cope at the shooting range.
Despite third place, she spoke of a bad race and apologized to her teammates Janina Hettich-Walz, Hanna Kebinger and Vanessa Voigt. With a total of five spare rounds, she gave up the possible race victory and thus also the triumph in the overall discipline ranking, in the end it was only enough for fourth place.
Italian Wierer wins the mass start
While the success of the flawless Italian Dorothea Wierer, Vanessa Voigt, who also did not have a penalty loop, was the best German in seventh place, Herrmann-Wick's penultimate mass start was over before things really got going. "I was at a loss, you have doubts. Of course, where you want to run, it's over," she said. She is fifth in the overall World Cup standings and is 74 points behind third-placed Italy's Lisa Vittozzi going into the last three races starting Thursday in Oslo. But also Vittozzi (18th) and the fourth Elvira Öberg (27th) from Sweden won few World Cup points in the mass start.
"Vanessa did a great race. With Denise we can't explain why the mistakes are so far away. But overall we are satisfied and look forward to Oslo and the last three competitions," said women's trainer Kristian Mehringer, whose Protégés now have a total of eight podium places after the two third places in Östersund in the World Cup.