World Cup in Östersund: Biathletes before relay: Pressure is “actually always” there

The brilliant start with two podium places in the first individual race of the winter should not cause the German biathletes to become careless.

World Cup in Östersund: Biathletes before relay: Pressure is “actually always” there

The brilliant start with two podium places in the first individual race of the winter should not cause the German biathletes to become careless. "We're always under pressure. We always want to give the best," said head coach Kristian Mehringer.

On Wednesday (3:20 p.m./ZDF and Eurosport) the first race of the season for the women's relay team with Janina Hettich-Walz, Sophia Schneider, Vanessa Voigt and Franziska Preuß over 4 x 6 kilometers is on the program in Östersund, Sweden - with a good chance of the next podium place against strong competition from France, Norway and Sweden.

Preuss narrowly misses victory

“They have proven that they can do it,” said Mehringer, looking back on the difficult individual event. Franziska Preuß in second and Vanessa Voigt in third made it onto the podium together over 15 kilometers. Former relay world champion Preuß was only 0.1 seconds short of victory. “You did a great job, especially at the shooting range,” praised Mehringer on ARD. After Olympic champion Denise Herrmann-Wick retired in the spring, hardly anyone expected that the winter would start so well.

“The girls are now happy and in a positive mood. Now of course we’re looking at the next races,” said the 42-year-old Mehringer, but didn’t put any pressure on his team. On Monday evening, the team celebrated their first successes in a relaxed manner with a burger evening. “We want to use what we have trained all year. Then we will see what comes out,” said Mehringer. The men's relay follows in Sweden on Thursday, and there are also sprints and pursuit races until Sunday.

The men also believe they have a chance of further success. After his individual victory in the sprint on Saturday, Roman Rees even went to the cross-country ski trail in the yellow jersey of the overall World Cup leader. Preuß has the chance to steal the shirt from the Italian Lisa Vittozzi. “I hope it continues like this,” said Preuß after her successful return to the World Cup. The 29-year-old Bavarian had to end last season early after many health problems.

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