Italy wins surprisingly ahead of the DSV biathletes with silver and the Swedes in third position

Italy wins surprisingly ahead of the DSV biathletes with silver and the Swedes in third position

In front of a sold-out “ARENA am Rennsteig” in Oberhof, the women’s relays were ready to go after the men. 16 relays fought at the second-last day for the podium. For the German team started Vanessa Voigt, Hanna Kebinger, Sophia Schneider and Denise Herrmann-Wick.

The field was received full-throated when it came to the first shooting and 23.500 spectators were holding their breath. The conditions were now better than in the morning, which is why many nations stayed clear at first. Only in the course of the race it blew once in a while into the shooting range, which lead to some reloads and even penalty loops.

From the role of the outsider to the first position

The Italians set themselves up for victory early on. At the first change, Samuela Comola still handed over at fourth position to the most experienced one in the Italian team – Dorothea Wierer. She delivered two fast shootings and brought her team with that on the first position, where they could hold themselves until the very end. Especially the young athlete Hannah Auchentaller surprised with her mental strength and good performance. As final skier the currently strongest Italian, Lisa Vittozzi, could bring the gold medal home with a clear lead of 25 seconds. “We were originally not the favoured team, but it was us at the end after all”, laughs Vittozzi relaxed at the press conference.

Strong team performance by the women’s DSV relay

The German team as well, wich landed eventually with six reloads on the silver position, showed a good performance. First skier Vanessa Voigt shot clear at both shootings but could not completely keep the speed of the at that point still leading Swedes, who were followed by the teams from Czech Republic and Norway, on the track. Vanessa Voigt, who could run in front of an home audience, is overjoyed with her performance today: “I am very satisfied with the race. Especially after the past days, which were very, very hard for me, I am happy and showed my critics, that I am the right one for the starting position.” Besides, “biathlon skills do not disappear from one day to the next”, she says fiercely.

Voigt handed over to the World Championship debutant Hanna Kebinger on fifth position. She as well showed a good performance. She was not rattled by that she only entered the World Cup this year, even though she was obviously very nervous, as she admitted. While at the standing shooting the nations in front, France, Norway and Sweden all had to do a penalty loop, Kebinger went clear. “I did not really realise that they already shot two penalties. I thought, these were reloads. The two keywords in my head helped me. But I'll keep to myself which ones they are. Also, the advices of my coaches helped me a lot – ‘fixate the black and then hit it’. I tried until the last metre to give everything”, reports Kebinger of her first thoughts after the race. Sophia Schneider also seemed to be calm today, her also competing at a World Championship for the first time, but she was annoyed about her misses. “These were my mistakes, not the wind”, she admits. Denise Herrmann-Wick, who could celebrate success already in the first World Championship week with her gold and silver medal, seemed relaxed. “This is a team medal, for which we worked the entire year. We motivate each other. For me it is impressive to see the energy of the young ones in my team!”

The Swedish team of Linn Persson, Anna Magnusson, Elvira Oeberg and Hanna Oeberg won the bronze medal. Especially Elvira Oeberg seemed to be a an unsure candidate, since she was still dealing with a cold from the past few days. “It was a hard week. This morning I was still not sure whether I can start today”, she said and beams overjoyed about this for her still unexpected medal. Her sister Hanna Oeberg added, that it is a record World Championship for the Swedes, since they could secure already 7 medals in the previous competitions and were on rank 3 of the medal count.

The favoured relays from France and Norway finished at the end on position 4 and 6.