When the K question came, miriam gossner had to laugh. "Crisis? I’m not in crisis, none of our team is," the german biathlete replied to the question whether the title matches in nove mesto in the czech republic were already over for the germans after the worst start to the world championships since 1997. Even though medals are still lacking after five of eleven world championship races, the team is in a fighting mood.
"I don’t see why we should be so frustrated. Of course we don’t have any medals yet, but it’s not that we have become worse. The others just got excited and took giant steps forward," said the 22-year-old gossner at the journalists’ roundtable on the first day of rest. "I didn’t win every world cup race before the world cup either."The motto: "we continue to attack."
The germans have deliberately moved to the hinterland of the world cup venue in order to have some peace and quiet. In the chic four-star hotel in the middle of the bohemian-moravian high, the entire team faced the situation analysis in a relaxed atmosphere on monday morning. Unanimous tenor: the deletion is naturally rough, but the results had to be looked at in a differentiated way.
"You can certainly expect more from us. But at the moment you need a very special day to win a medal," said andreas birnbacher, who was highly rated before the world championships. One thing is clear: the world cup party is currently taking place without the german team. The balance so far: 13. In the mixed relay, gossner finished sixth in the sprint like andrea henkel in the pursuit. "You have to ask yourself what would have been possible," said women’s national coach gerald honig.
In the men’s competition erik was lesser than 12. And 14. Best german in each case. Germany is used to something different. Team leader birnbacher takes an unagitated view of the situation, and knows how much work everyone has put into preparing for the event. "Sometimes it’s just nuances that decide, and to convey that to auben, the fan, is sometimes difficult," confessed last year’s mass start world cup winner. "We don’t have to talk ourselves worse than we are. And if you’re honest, that’s not a huge drop either."
Just like birnbacher, arnd peiffer had also been ailing time and again, and was never able to train consistently at the absolute top level. "We have to realistically assess that we will be exactly where we are in the overall world cup this year," said the national team coach mark kirchner in his usual sober manner. "New game, new luck. We will definitely fight for the medal."
Nevertheless, the world championship goal of five to six medals has now been corrected. "We want to be at the starting line with athletes who say of themselves: i would like to compete for the medals. Whether it’s one, five or six, it doesn’t matter," said head coach uwe mussiggang.
However, gossner and henkel, like one or the other of the men, are still in a position to take part in the medal fight in the next races. "We are 0:2 behind at half time. But we couldn’t let ourselves get crazy," said manner coach fritz fischer. "My favorite example is FC bayern, they played great for two years. And no german championship title won. And this year they are all playing dizzy."