The memories of Erik Lesser inevitably came alive. A year after his coup in his last World Cup race a year ago, Denise Herrmann-Wick also said goodbye to the biathlon stage at Holmenkollen with a win. The competitions in Oslo experienced a little German biathlon fairy tale again.
After the triumph in the last sprint race of her career, the 34-year-old shed tears of joy. “It’s very emotional right now,” said the world champion after her eleventh World Cup triumph on Saturday in Oslo. With a gala performance without shooting errors, Herrmann-Wick secured the small crystal globe in the Sprint World Cup for the second time and also achieved the last goal of her successful career one day before her announced retirement.
“It’s really pure pleasure,” said the Saxon at the end of a perfect day, on which she managed the second-best time. Friends and family had cheered them on in great numbers at Holmenkollen in perfect weather. “I’m incredibly proud and happy that we can enjoy the day so much,” said Herrmann-Wick. Behind her, Sweden’s Hanna Öberg (0 penalties) finished in second place, 3.5 seconds behind, while Julia Simon of France (1) took third place in Norway’s capital.
The race on Friday could not take place due to dense fog and was postponed by one day. The pursuer originally planned for Saturday was removed from the program.
Herrmann-Wick announced the end of her career on Tuesday, and the former cross-country skier will be there for the last time in the mass start on Sunday (3:10 p.m. / ARD and Eurosport). “It’s a crazy feeling. You can only imagine it as it is,” Herrmann-Wick said of the final moments of her career on ARD: “I don’t even want to imagine Sunday like that.”
In any case, it gets emotional again. “That could definitely happen,” she replied when asked if a few tears might flow at the end.
It actually happened a day earlier, the two-time world champion was so overwhelmed after once again withstanding all the pressure. “I tried to do my best race that I can do. I managed that,” said Herrmann-Wick: “You know, it’s the last sprint. I’m glad that I was able to keep my nerves under control during the competition.”
The second best German was the flawless Janina Hettich-Walz in eighth place, Hanna Kebinger (1) also made it into the top 20 in 17th place. Vanessa Voigt (0) fell short of expectations in 41st place, followed by the World Cup debutants Selina Grotian (2/44th) and Lisa Maria Spark (0/53rd). It was very disappointing for Anna Weidel (3), who finished 82nd.
In the men’s race, Benedikt Doll had previously finished fourth. Two days after his third place in the sprint, two penalties prevented the 32-year-old from another podium finish. At the finish, the Black Forest rider was 55.3 seconds behind the superior winner, Johannes Thingnes Bö from Norway.
Second place went to the flawless Frenchman Quentin Fillon Maillet ahead of Norway’s Sturla Holm Laegreid (1 penalty). Doll was only a good six seconds short of third place.
The second best German was Philipp Nawrath (2) in 14th, followed by Roman Rees (2) in 20th place and Lucas Fratzscher (3) in 21st place Philipp Horn (6) as 52nd with very poor shooting performance. Justus Strelow was absent for a short time due to a blockage in his cervical spine. It was initially not clear whether the 26-year-old from Saxony would be able to take part in the mass start again on Sunday.