Benedikt Doll won the ten kilometer sprint at the start of the home World Cup in Oberhof and continued the German biathletes' impressive series of successes with his sixth World Cup victory.
The former world champion only missed the last of his ten shots and, in his second success of the season, was 1.8 seconds ahead of the Norwegian Sturla Holm Laegreid, who also had to go into the penalty loop once. His teammate Endre Strömsheim came third in difficult track conditions (1 error/5.4 seconds). Johannes Kühn, who made no mistakes this time, also delivered a strong race in fifth place (29.8 seconds).
"I was a bit surprised that I was in the lead after the standing stage. I actually thought that Johannes Thingnes had shot zero and I was behind," Doll reported on ARD. On the track, sports director Felix Bitterling called out to him that he was 20 seconds ahead of the five-time Oberhof world champion from Norway. “That gave me a little boost of motivation,” said the 33-year-old. Bö, who was the first ski hunter to win all sprint races in the previous season, had to settle for fourth place (19.8 seconds) after two mistakes. “That was impressive of Benni,” said Bö.
In addition to Doll (33), Kühn as well as the sprint eleventh Philipp Nawrath (49 seconds) and the flawless Justus Strelow (15th / 1:05.6 minutes) also have a good starting position for the pursuit on Saturday (12.25 p.m./ARD). . Doll also took over the red jersey of the discipline leader in the sprint.
The men's sprint was postponed by a day due to heavy rainfall, plus temperatures and gusts of wind. That's why the organizers had to do hard work to prepare a suitable route. “The helpers made it possible for us to be able to run here, a big thank you to them,” said Doll.
Roman Rees, who was recently absent due to illness, came 19th on his comeback after a penalty loop, while Philipp Horn (3 errors) was 34th.