The French team masterfully won the men’s relay and clinched the third title in the Südtirol Arena.
Pursuing World Champion Emilien Jacquelin, individual Gold medallists Martin Fourcade, Simon Desthieux and second in the sprint, Fillon Maillet, kept France in the top field from the first to the last lap. Fourcade and his teammates were extremely strong not only on skis. No other nation shot as well in the shooting range. They only needed a total of four reloads to hit every single disk.
Despite these impressive performances, Germany was able to draw even for a long time and even was in the lead at all changeovers. It was only at the final standing shooting that the DSC-team had to bury their hope for Gold. Benedikt Doll shot at the same time as Fillon Maillet, but unlike the Frenchman, his nerves showed. He had to ski one penalty circuit and was overtaken in the last few kilometres by Johannes Thingnes Bø.
The Norwegian super star, who had dominated the World Cup, led his team to Silver but remains without Gold in these World Championships. Germany finished in third place, winning its fifth medal.
Italy in 7th place
No medal, but a solid performance came from the biathletes of the host nation. First skier Lukas Hofer handed over the baton in third position, but Thomas Bormolini and Daniele Cappellari were unable to maintain this position. Final runner Dominik Windisch caught up a few places and finally crossed the finish line in 7th position.
The World Championships in Anterselva will continue and conclude on Sunday. In the women’s mass start (12:30 pm) and the men’s mass start (3:00 pm) the final medals will be fought for in the Südtirol Arena.
Comments on the race:
Simon Desthieux, France (1st place): “I really struggled in the shooting range. I am nevertheless overjoyed that we achieved this World Championships title. Being part of this team is incredible. Today is a very special day.”
John Dale, Norway (2nd place): “It was a very challenging race. But I am all the more happy because for me, it’s my first World Championships medal ever. That I sit here and can say that I am a member of the Norwegian relay team, it’s just sensational.
Philipp Horn, Germany (3rd place): “I am very happy with my shooting. Everything has worked out perfectly. For me, too, it’s my first World Championships medal ever. I’m enjoying the moment, it’s an indescribable feeling. I hope it will continue like this in the future.”
Results Men’s Relay 4x7.5 km, World Championships Anterselva (Saturday, 22 February 2020)
1. Frankreich (Emilien Jacquelin, Martin Fourcade, Simon Desthieux, Quentin Fillon Maillet) 1:12.35,9 (0+4)
2. Norwegen (Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, Johannes Dale, Tarjei Boe, Johannes Thingnes Boe) +21,5 (1+12)
3. Germany (Erik Lesser, Philipp Horn, Arnd Peiffer, Benedikt Doll) +36,2 (1+8)
4. Russia (Evgeniy Garanichev, Matvey Eliseev, Nikita Porshnev, Alexander Loginov) +1.44,7 (0+9)
5. Slowenien (Miha Dovzan, Jakov Fak, Klemen Bauer, Rok Trsan) +1.45,8 (0+8)
6. Austria (Felix Leitner, Simone Eder, Julian Eberhard, Dominik Landertinger) +2.28,5 (2+12)
7. Italy (Lukas Hofer, Thomas Bormolini. Daniele Cappellari, Dominik Windisch) +2.32,0 (0+9)
8. USA (Leif Nordgren, Sean Doherty, Paul Schommer, Jake Brown) +2.32,9 (0+5)
9. Weißrussland (Anton Smolski, Mikita Labastau, Raman Yaliotnau, Sergey Bocharnikov) +2.40,4 (0+6)
10. Schweden (Peppe Femling, Jesper Nelin, Martin Ponsiluoma, Sebastian Samuelsson) +3.28,9 (2+10)