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Biathlon World Cup in Oberhof 2023: you need to know this before the competitions start


The Biathlon World Championships start today in Oberhof, Thuringia. Who are the favourites? Like the German chances? And is there even enough snow? The most important questions and answers.

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Olympic champion Denise Herrmann-Wick


IMAGO/Jacob Schršter / IMAGO/Jacob Schršter

The event was already opened yesterday evening, today the sporty start is at the Biathlon World Championships in Oberhof, Thuringia.

While on Tuesday evening the "Dorfrocker" with the official World Cup song "OO-Oberhof" at the opening ceremony left no doubt as to where this event is taking place, from now on Denise Herrmann-Wick and Co. are the focus.

The competitions will start with the mixed relay in the afternoon (start 2.45 p.m.).

The DSV is already hoping for the first medal.

Twelve decisions will be made by February 19.

Here you will find the most important information about the World Cup.

Who are the favourites?

Once again all eyes are on Johannes Thingnes Bø.

The Norwegian has already celebrated eleven victories in 14 individual races this winter, most recently even setting a record with six in a row.

So everything looks like Bö will add a few more to his collection of twelve World Championship gold medals so far.

If anyone can endanger him at all, then it is probably the notorious Oberhofer Nebel at the shooting range - or his own compatriots: 30 podium places from the 14 individual competitions went to Norway's men this winter.

In the overall World Cup, Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen and Sturla Holm Lägreid follow directly behind Bö.

The women are a bit more lively.

Julia Simon (France) leads the ranking ahead of Elvira Öberg (Sweden) and Lisa Vittozzi (Italy).

But the Germans Denise Herrmann-Wick, Dorothea Wierer (Italy) and Hanna Öberg (Sweden) are also hoping for something countable.

In addition, there is the recovered Norwegian Marte Olsbu Röiseland, who recently returned to the World Cup after health problems.

How are the German chances?

All hopes rest on the Olympic champion: Denise Herrmann-Wick, last year's gold winner at the Winter Games.

She got the only two victories for the German team in the current season, she also finished third once.

In the men's category, routine Benedikt Doll has at best an outsider chance given Norway's dominance.

At least in the relays, the Germans are counting on home successes: three podium places for women and four for men have already been booked in the World Cup this winter.

The DSV has high hopes for the audience: more than 150,000 tickets have been sold, the Germans are hoping for appropriate support from the crowd.

Who starts for the DSV?

In addition to Herrmann-Wick, Vanessa Voigt, Sophia Schneider, Anna Weidel, Janina Hettich-Walz and Hanna Kebinger are also registered for women.

Franziska Preuß, who was once again plagued by health problems in her career, has already ended her season, Vanessa Hinz announced her immediate career end on Saturday immediately before the World Cup after months of setbacks.

Benedikt Doll, Roman Rees, Johannes Kühn, David Zobel, Justus Strelow and Philipp Nawrath start among the men.

Is there enough snow for the competitions?

Winter sports, climate change and snow - it is one of the major issues that are currently accompanying biathlon sport and will continue to do so in the coming years.

In Oberhof, too, the future of winter sports – and with it the future of the town – is the subject of heated debate.

This includes the effort to use the sports facilities intensively in summer as well.

Biathlon on roller skis should also gain in importance in the off-winter seasons in the future.

The weather has once again been kind to this World Cup.

It's wintry in Oberhof after it was far too warm and green at the turn of the year.

At the moment, the place also offers the right backdrop for the TV picture, it's white.

Nevertheless: Nothing works without artificial snow on the cross-country ski run.

What else do you need to know about Oberhof?

Oberhof and winter sports are an inseparable connection.

The place is proud of its tradition, ski tourism has existed here since the 19th century, during the GDR era a lot of money flowed into the place to spruce it up as a tourist and sporting showcase.

SED General Secretary Walter Ulbricht spent his winter holidays here and had the place generously equipped with hotel facilities.

After the reunification, Oberhof remained an attraction for winter holidaymakers, especially from East Germany - and at the same time a focus of German winter sports.

Oberhof hosted the World Championships in 2004, and the Luge World Championships were also held here in January of this year.

The federal government and Thuringia have invested more than 80 million euros in the location for the double World Cup - which has also led to criticism.

Where are the competitions on TV?

As in previous years, ARD and ZDF share the transmission.

The second starts this Wednesday with the mixed relay and will broadcast live until next Tuesday, after which ARD will take over.

Eurosport broadcasts continuously.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2023-02-08

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