Take a deep breath and plunge on to the podium

The German women‘s relay team underscores its complexity with a victory

Friday, January 13, 2017

The German relay team including Vanessa Hinz, Maren Hammerschmidt, Franziska Preuss and Laura Dahlmeier was a sensation on the home range. In a phenomenal pursuit race spurred on by the 12,000 spectators, the fourth athlete Laura Dahlmeier, brought home the gold. When she entered the final round ten seconds after the leading Marte Olsbu after the second bout of shooting, the 23 year old from Partenkirchen had a plan.  “I wanted to approach slowly to check out the competition, not dash ahead. The plan worked out”. Before that performance, the other three relay skiers demonstrated that they were a force to be reckoned with.  Racing in front of the home audience posed a big responsibility. At the beginning of the race, Vanessa Hinz demonstrated strong nerves at the range:  “The crowd cheered us on, but that also puts us under pressure”.  One could have heard a pin drop during those seconds.  In a frightening moment the second relay of the German team, Maren Hammerschmidt, fell during the last two kilometers. Luckily Franziska Preuss was able to find her way back into the World Cup after her break due to illness. Only in the standing shooting bout did she have to reload twice.

In the final round, Marte Olsbu was not only passed by the Germans, but also the French sent the Norwegian team to third place.  The young French athlete Celia Aymonier raced an outstanding final round and could secure second place even though her strong teammate Marie Dorin Habert did not participate.

The Ukrainians placed fourth and ahead of Italy and the Czech Republic.