French women also win relay race
The French women underlined their exceptional form at the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon 2024 in Oberhof and celebrated their first relay victory of the season ahead of Norway (+9.3 seconds) and Sweden (+33.5). The DSV stars fell well short of the podium and had to settle for fifth place in front of 20,000 fans. In the end, Vanessa Voigt, Janina Hettich-Walz, Sophia Schneider and Franziska Preuß were 4:20 minutes behind the victorious Frenchwomen.
First skier Voigt had initially kept up with the leading group and got off lightly with two reloads in windy conditions at the shooting range. "I'm actually very happy with my shooting, because I'm not the best shooter in the wind," said the athlete from Floh-Seligenthal after her home race. "In the first round, there was a lot of jockeying for position. In the second lap, I wanted to save a few grains. At the finish I realized that this wasn't really necessary."
Hettich-Walz, skiing in second position, needed a total of five extra bullets and also lost valuable time on the top trio on the track. However, the crux of the matter for the German biathletes was Sophia Schneider's first shooting, who had to go into the penalty loop and left Franziska Preuß with an unassailable deficit. "Unfortunately, my prone shooting was totally messed up. I didn't really know where I was shooting and couldn't judge the wind properly," regretted a disappointed Schneider, but added: "The spectators were amazing again. It was still fun to run here. Unfortunately I wasn't able to deliver today." Final runner Preuß did well for two laps, but produced two penalty loops at the last standing shooting.
The French did better, presenting themselves as the strongest team, especially in terms of skiing, and were thus able to afford two more reloads than the Norwegians in second place. Lou Jeanmonnot and Justine Braisaz-Bouchet had already put France in an excellent starting position in the triathlon before Sophia Chauveau pulled away and Julia Simon took home the victory despite three spares at the last shooting - just ahead of Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold. However, the Norwegian top skier was too far behind Karoline Offigstad Knotten and Marit Ishol Skogan and Juni Arnekleiv. For the Swedes, who started with the Oeberg sisters, Linn Persson and Anna Magnusson, Hanna Oeberg in particular missed the chance of a better placing with a penalty loop.