Like the rest of the biathlon scene, Benedikt Doll once again had no chance against the overwhelming Johannes Thingnes Bö.
But after his best individual at a world championship, the 32-year-old veteran is going into the second part of the home race in Oberhof with more and more confidence. "I'm very satisfied and happy that I worked so well on the shooting range," said Doll, who made it to the top six honors in the Arena am Rennsteig on Tuesday in a strong fifth place. Without a mistake, even silver would have been possible.
While superstar Bö even compensated for two penalty minutes with his fourth gold in the fourth race and once again dismantled the competition on the cross-country ski run, Doll's good shooting was particularly important. "Now I've secured myself well. But it's annoying that it was a mistake lying prone, of all things," said the Black Forester, who missed the first of his 20 shots in front of 12,100 spectators, but then went through clean.
After the botched mixed relay and 55th place in the sprint, he had already gained self-confidence when he was 15th in the pursuit. At least in the relay on Saturday and in the mass start at the end things should go even better. It's still unclear who will run in the single mixed on Thursday.
Nawrath also in the top ten
One day after his 30th birthday, Philipp Nawrath also made it into the top ten in ninth place (2 penalties) and delivered his best World Championship result to date. "I'm super happy with it. Let's see how far it goes and which races might still be waiting for me," said Nawrath, who hadn't made it to the internal World Cup norm and only slipped into the team because of his good results at the European Championships.
Justus Strelow, who was only set up shortly before the race for the slightly injured Johannes Kühn, was 13th. "I had to do some running in the last few races, today it was extremely difficult again," said Strelow. Roman Rees was 21st and David Zobel 73rd.
After the individual, Doll also had to state: "I didn't have the podium in my own hands." Once again Bö had his competitors in his hand. At temperatures of almost eleven degrees Celsius and a course that was becoming increasingly difficult to run, he started eleventh and still finished first. Second was his teammate Sturla Holm Laegreid (1 penalty/ 1:10.7 minutes) ahead of Sweden's Sebastian Samuelsson (1/ 1:11.1 minutes).
The figures show how far away the competition is from the high-flyer: the now 16-time world champion would have won even if the others had remained flawless. In terms of running time, Doll was 3:04.3 minutes behind, while Jeremy Finello from Switzerland, who was second fastest, was 1:46.4 minutes behind.
"Were the perfect conditions"
"It was the perfect conditions for me, my way of running, for my waxers and my skis," said Bö, who also has the chance to be the first in his sport to win gold seven times at a World Championship. Things were very different with Doll. "The skis deteriorated a lot at the back due to the warm temperatures. Every lap felt even longer," said Doll.
So far the German men are still waiting for their first medal in Oberhof. The Norwegian men, on the other hand, have continued their festival and have so far won seven out of nine medals.
Information on the Biathlon World Championships in Oberhof Biathlon in the German Ski Association Biathlon World Cup calendar