Petter Arvidson / Bildbyran / IMAGO
Franziska Preuß is the first German in more than six and a half years to take the lead in the overall Biathlon World Cup. In the 7.5-kilometer sprint race in Östersund, Sweden, Preuss finished fourth and thus wears the yellow jersey for the overall leader. However, the 29-year-old has to share this with Karoline Offigstad Knotten from Norway. The two have an identical score and identical race results.
"I was a little too inconsistent in shooting. It's kind of stupid to shoot the last shot twice," said Preuss: "I was maybe a bit too impatient. Nevertheless, I am very satisfied.« The last German to wear the yellow jersey was two-time Olympic champion Laura Dahlmeier on 19 March 2017.
Preuss: "Surprised that it's enough for so far ahead with two mistakes"
Because Preuß was the only one of the top biathletes in Östersund to have to run two penalty loops, she narrowly missed her second World Cup victory of her career in icy 15 degrees below freezing. At the finish line, she was 18.3 seconds behind the flawless premiere winner Lou Jeanmonnot from France. With one penalty lap less, Preuss would have had a chance to win. "I'm surprised that it's enough for so far ahead with two penalties," she said.
Just like the strong Vanessa Voigt, who finished fifth with one penalty, only 1.7 seconds behind her teammate, Preuß has good podium chances in the pursuit on Sunday. For the other four Germans, it was not enough to make it into the top 15.
While Preuss had no problems with the cold, it was a completely different story for Voigt. "It just didn't have to be a mistake, but I'm glad I was able to shoot at all. I didn't feel anything in my fingers," said the 26-year-old relay runner-up.
The World Cup in central Sweden continues on Saturday with the men's sprint (14:45 p.m., TV: ZDF, Eurosport). Roman Rees, who sat out the relay with a slight injury, will start in the yellow jersey for the first time in his career. The 30-year-old had secured the lead in the overall World Cup with his victory in the individual race last Sunday.