Norway and Sweden dominated the Biathlon World Championships in Oberhof
Some call it nitpicking. But even if there is something to the thesis that not only gold, silver or bronze count - in the end, the medal count is the essential factor in the performance assessment of major sporting events.
Überflieger Bø – Olsbu-Røiseland bricht Neuner – Rekord
At the Biathlon World Championships in Oberhof, it was actually already clear before the first shot that Norway could dominate these title fights. And the Scandinavians delivered - 13 medals were won by the favored team. The top performer of these world championships was involved in all five gold medals: Johannes Thingnes Bø. The exceptional athlete set a new World Cup record with a total of seven medals. And it was almost comforting for the competition that even this exceptional athlete landed back on the ground on the last day of competition, "only" got bronze, silver with the relay completed the Boe score, although the second place in the quartet is certainly counted as a defeat in the team, where the French won. The collected four medals, means third place in the nation ranking, the title of the men's team was one of two major highlights of l'equipe tricolore, previously World Cup leader Julia Simon had won gold in the pursuit. The most successful biathlete of these World Championships was Sweden's Hanna Öberg, with two golds and one silver and one bronze medal each. In the shadow of the Swede, Marte Olsbu Røiseland also won two golds, thus surpassing the previous record holder Magdalena Neuner from Germany with 13 titles.
Sweden the new second force in biathlon
Swedes won a total of eleven medals, only two less than Norway's biathlon elite. Which leads to the conclusion that these title fights were firmly in Scandinavian hands, because two thirds of all podium places were collected by the representatives of the ski federations of Norway and Sweden.
Host with light and shadow
This should be particularly annoying for the host nation. Germany was only able to fulfill its own goals at the home World Championships to a limited extent. The men in particular were disappointing, remaining completely medalless at major events for the first time in over 50 years. And in the women's event, the DSV success had a name: Denise Herrmann-Wick. The athlete from Saxony was one of the favorites for the title and delivered - she won gold and two silver medals. Apart from that, the German Ski Association has to hope that the young talents will ignite. Sophia Schneider and Hanna Kebinger made good attempts, Vanessa Voigt, treated as the crown princess, did not always withstand the pressure of the home World Championships, but at least took silver in the relay. The up-and-coming runners Lisa Spark and Selina Grotian give hope, as the 18-year-old is considered a great hope in the federation. In the men's team, on the other hand, things are not looking rosy in terms of young talent either.
Festival on the ridge of the Thuringian Forest
Two gold medals are not in the official ranking. One goes to the fantastic audience. More than 150,000 spectators wanted to see the World Championships live. It didn't matter whether the sun was shining, fog was wafting around the venue or - as on the final weekend - the rain poured down in streams over the Thuringian Forest. The fans wanted to party and they did. The other medal goes to the hosts. Despite all the inclemencies, Oberhof delivered what it promised: well-organized competitions. The preparation was suboptimal, due to Covid-19 the Thuringians could never test under real conditions. The weather played along only conditionally - nevertheless the tracks were in excellent condition until the final day. Small problems were fixed immediately and the many hard-working helpers around the World Championships will probably never forget these title fights, because they were allowed to be there when King Johannes Thingnes Bø made the Biathlon World Championships in Oberhof the Bø-Athlon World Championships.
Pictures: Kevin Voigt