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Franziska Preuß (left) sprinting to the finish line against France's Lou Jeanmonnot

Photo: Pontus Lundahl / EPA

In both the men's and women's Biathlon Overall World Cups, German athletes are at the top. In a thrilling pursuit at the World Cup in Östersund, Franziska Preuß finished second, but still took the lead in the overall World Cup. In the men's race, Philipp Nawrath successfully defended the yellow jersey of the overall leader with a second place in the pursuit.

Preuß only had to admit defeat by 0.3 seconds in the final sprint to France's Lou Jeanmonnot in the pursuit on Sunday, but already celebrated the second podium finish of the still young World Championship winter. "I fought until the end, it's a shame that it wasn't enough by such a narrow margin," said Preuss, who was the first German to wear the yellow jersey since Laura Dahlmeier in March 2017. "That was very cool, it was a lot of fun," said Preuss.

Vanessa Voigt also impressed at minus twelve degrees in Östersund and finished third. She had even come to the last shooting as the leader, but then had to go into the penalty loop once.

Most successful season opener in 15 years

For the women of the German Ski Association (DSV), it was already the fifth podium place after third place in the relay and the successes of Preuß (2nd place) and Vanessa Voigt (3rd) in the sprint. The last time the German ski hunters were so successful was at the season opener 15 years ago.

Two hours after the double success of the German biathletes, Nawrath came second in the pursuit over 12.5 kilometers. Despite two penalties, he was only 5.1 seconds behind home winner Sebastian Samuelsson, who had to complete three penalty loops.

It was "a good feeling" to wear the yellow jersey, Nawrath said on ZDF: "It was a new situation. But I got into it relatively quickly. I had a confident feeling. It's turned out well again." After a thrilling final lap, Norway's Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen finished third.

It was only on Saturday that Nawrath surprisingly took the first World Cup victory of his career in the sprint. The 30-year-old from Nesselwang had never been on the podium before, two fourth places were his best finishes in the World Cup.

After the exhausting – and above all cold – first week of the World Cup, the biathletes now get a four-day break. On Friday, the men's sprints will take place in Hochfilzen (11.30 a.m.; TV: ARD and Eurosport) and women (14.25 p.m.; TV: ARD and Eurosport) at the second World Cup of the season.