The German biathletes started the season with two top five finishes.

At the start of the World Cup in Kontiolahti in Finland, David Zobel, who was born in Starnberg, achieved the best World Cup result of his career with third place in the individual race over 20 kilometers.

The 26-year-old, who was a substitute at the Olympic Games in Beijing, crossed the finish line in Kontiolahti without a penalty, 1.6 seconds faster than his team-mate Roman Rees.

The Black Forester recorded only one shooting error and finished fourth.

When Swede Martin Ponsiluoma won, 22-year-old Swiss Niklas Hartweg took second place.

Surprisingly, there were no representatives of the Norwegians and French, who had dominated the previous season, on the podium.

The best Norwegian was Sturla Holm Laegreid in sixth place.

He had made two mistakes in the last shooting.

The overall World Cup winner and Olympic champion from France, Quentin Fillon Maillet, started the race with two penalties in the first shooting and glided to the finish with a correspondingly dissatisfied shake of the head.

David Zobel also shook his head after crossing the finish line, but for a completely different reason: Zobel himself couldn't believe at first that he was the best German at the start of the World Cup season.

Even on the final lap he couldn't help but smile.

"It feels really, really good," he later said.

“That was hard work on the track.

But if it goes well and you shoot well, then it's fun too.”