Andrea Henkel (GER), Miriam Gössner (GER), Magdalena Neuner (GER), Tina Bachmann (GER) (l-r)
Magdalena Neuner (GER), Miriam Gössner (GER)
GERMAN BIATHLON GIRLS WIN GOLD MEDAL IN RELAY
Tina Bachmann (GER, Fischer skis and boots), Magdalena Neuner (GER, Fischer skis and boots), Miriam Gössner (GER, Fischer) and Andrea Henkel (GER, Fischer skis and boots) are the old and new World Champions in women's relay. They defended their title from Khanty-Mansiysk followed by France and Norway.
German team started with a risky line-up into the race with Neuner already in second position. The coaches plan to give Gössner a comfortable lead didn't work so well because Neuner shot one penalty after a good race of their first athlete Tina Bachmann. Neuner sent Gössner only ten seconds behind the leaders into the race race and Gössner who was very nervous yesterday showed a surprisingly great performance. After a good prone shooting the Bavarian was full of self-confidence and she shot very risky in standing stage. "In standing stage I tried to shoot all or nothing. The last shot missed the target but luckily the first spare round hit the target", said Gössner who fell a few minutes earlier when she touched the intermediate point with her ski. "I bended my knees because I wanted to bow to my coaches", she smiled.
Lena Neuner: "The score is 1:1 even"
Gössner sent Andrea Henkel as last skier into the race who did a great race either. She shot absolutely clear and came into the stadium with the German flag in front of the frenetically cheering audience. "I tried to concentrate on my own shooting and it spurred me when the audience shouts after each shot. It is wonderful to glory in it", said Henkel. Neuner was able to take her mistake in a good spirit because of the final outcome. "Now the score is 1:1 even", she smirked. Last year Neuner was the one who recovered the title for her team. "After prone shooting I made a mistake to stay behind Anastasiya (Kuzmina) who was very slow. Therefor the pulse was too low and hard during standing stage", Neuner explained the reason for her penalty.
France and Norway on podium
As last year (after belated disqualification of Ukrainian team) the French team was able to celebrate the silver medal. For bronze medal it was a tight fight between Norway's and Belarus' anchorwomen Darya Domracheva (BLR, Fischer skis and boots) and Tora Berger (NOR, Fischer skis, boots and poles) which was decided in favor of Berger and her brand mate Elise Ringen (NOR, Fischer skis and poles). Fifth behind the Belarussian team in line-up with other Fischer-biathletes Nadezhda Skardino (BLR, Fischer skis and boots) and Nastassia Dubarezava (BLR, Fischer) went to Sweden ahead of Ukraine and disappointing Russians.