On the wave of success
Created: 06/12/2022, 07:00
By: Patrick Hilmes
Madness: David Zobel still can't believe that he finished third, ninth and eighth in the first three World Cup races.
© Kevin Voigt
Two Werdenfels biathletes had a great start to the season: David Zobel (SC Partenkirchen) at the World Cup in Kontiolahti and Selina Grotian (SC Mittenwald) at the IBU Cup in Idre Fjäll.
Kontiolahti/Idre Fjäll -
Kontiolahti/Idre Fjäll -
David Zobel has received a lot of messages these days.
Most are about congratulations on how proud the person is of them.
Screenshots are also included in some messages.
It shows the current status in the overall World Cup for biathletes.
Unsurprisingly, Norwegian superstar Johannes Thingnes Boe took first place.
But already in fifth place is a name that nobody really expected after the first World Cup weekend, none of the experts, none of the trainers, not even himself - David Zobel.
"That's pretty absurd," says Murnauer.
Before this winter, he would have dismissed such photos as fake.
But now it's reality, even if he hasn't arrived there yet.
"Well, I still can't believe that."
But it's simply the result of a phenomenal weekend in Kontiolahti.
The icing on the cake in Finland basically followed on day one.
In the 20-kilometre individual, the 26-year-old from SC Partenkirchen did what he had only managed to do once in his life - in the team's internal qualification for the start of the World Cup in Vuokatti: he hit the bull's eye 20 times with 20 shots.
Coupled with a good performance on the cross-country ski trail, that means the jump to the podium, third place.
Frustration at not being nominated for the season
But disillusionment and a certain amount of frustration followed.
Because although he was the best German in the first competition, Zobel was not allowed to start in the relay.
In retrospect, he diplomatically expresses his displeasure: "I wasn't happy about not being able to start." He allowed himself to remain annoyed about it until the race.
Then he ticked it off, was happy with his teammates about their second place and focused on his next competition.
"It worked surprisingly well." Was also visible in the sprint.
Zobel delivered again in an impressive manner and ended up ninth.
He only missed one of the ten shots on target.
"It's bitter that it was the last." But it had nothing to do with nervousness or fear of the next top placing.
Was simply a technical error after repeating.
"I always have to focus on my right hand in standing."
Was better again in the pursuit with ten hits.
Only this time it didn't go well in prone position, Zobel missed one shot each time.
"I wasn't satisfied with the series.
The fact that there was only one mistake each time is because things are just going well for me at the moment.” And so the Murnauer was able to improve by one place and crossed the finish line in eighth place.
Individual result not a flash in the pan
After the individual he had put it into perspective and spoken of a special race.
But with these two top ten results, Zobel proved that his podium place was not a product of chance.
"It makes me proud and shows that we did some things right in the summer." He himself knows that worse days will come again and that it will be difficult to maintain this level throughout the season.
But as national coach Mark Kirchner said: “You already have what you have.” Zobel adapted it straight away and says: “My level at the shooting range was high end.
It will be different again.
But at the moment I have so much self-confidence that I don't have to worry about it.” On the other hand, they are already revolving around the next World Cup stop in Hochfilzen – December 8th to 11th.
In addition to sprints and pursuits, there is also a relay race in Austria.
If Zobel has his way, it will take place with him this time.
Happy winner: Selina Grotian (centre) snatches victory ahead of Tilda Johansson (left) and Vanessa Hinz.
© DSV Biathlon
Selina Grotian: First win on debut in the IBU Cup
The SCP athlete is currently not the only Werdenfelser to ride a wave of success.
One league lower does one of the greatest hopes for youngsters: Selina Grotian from SC Mittenwald.
Even her nomination for the start of the IBU Cup was like a small accolade for the 18-year-old.
But the crowning glory was yet to come.
At the awards ceremony after Idre Fjäll's (Sweden) second sprint, a Grotian grinning from ear to ear stood at the top of the podium.
Like Zobel, the Mittenwalder had exceeded all expectations and was also a little overwhelmed with the new situation.
Because at the finish she didn't jump for joy and didn't jump into everyone's arms beaming with joy, Grotian had other things in mind.
"I could not believe it.
It was also so cold that I was just glad to get warm again."
she admits with a smile.
Even a day later, she still hasn't come to terms with the fact that she won the seniors and not the juniors.
Congratulations from Vanessa Hinz, whom Grotian described as her mentor and whom she had displaced to third place, didn't help either.
"I think that's going to take a while."
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Fast learning process as the key to success
She is not yet aware of the significance and scope of this success, but she is aware of how it came about.
After the first sprint in Idre Fjäll, the woman from Mittenwald was still disappointed with rank 38 with four shooting errors.
She wasn't used to the treacherous winds in Scandinavia, she simply lacks experience.
But Grotian makes up for this shortcoming with a quick learning curve.
Already in the pursuit she advanced to rank 13.
In the first individual of her career over 15 kilometers, she had some problems dividing her strength over the unfamiliar distance, had shaky legs on the fourth shooting and had two more shooting errors after the previous two.
Grotian leaves everyone speechless
She drew her conclusions from all these experiences and tried to do better in the next race.
Worked perfectly in the second sprint.
How good, she wasn't aware of that at first.
"I thought after the last shot that went wrong: 'Oh man, now I messed it up again.'" It wasn't like that.
Grotian was only slightly behind the leaders and converted this into a lead of 7.3 seconds over Tilda Johansson (Sweden) on the final lap.
At the finish line, everyone was flabbergasted – trainer, competition, Grotian himself. Victory straight away on the debut.
"Most of all I've been texted is that you're speechless." No wonder.