Vanessa Hinz fell in the snow and looked incredulously at the scoreboard.
At the World Championships in Antholz, Italy, the Bavarian was even able to briefly hope for gold in the hardest of all biathlon races – but the Italian Dorothea Wierer snatched the title from the 27-year-old shortly afterwards.
But she was overjoyed with the first medal of her career and the second precious metal for the German ski hunters in the title fights in the South Tyrol Arena. «I can’t really believe it yet. I’m still shivering. It is such an incredibly beautiful day for me, ”said Vanessa Hinz on ZDF and said:“ I am Vice World Champion, it feels damn awesome. ”
Pursuit world champion Wierer was only 2.2 seconds ahead of Hinz on Tuesday after the 15 kilometers with four shots, which in turn was 13.6 seconds ahead of sprint world champion Marte Olsbu Roiseland (2 penalty minutes) from Norway on bronze. The Italian and the Norwegian received two minutes, Hinz only missed one. Laura Dahlmeier remains the last German single world champion, the double Olympic champion won in Hochfilzen in 2017.
Franziska Preuß (2) came fifth and was 1: 03.4 minutes behind the winner. «Unfortunately, the first shooting didn’t work. Disappointment prevails at the moment, »said Preuss. Pursuit second Denise Herrmann (4) came in twelfth, 1: 40.9 minutes behind. “No matter what happened to me, I’m extremely happy for Vanessa,” said Herrmann. Karolin Horchler (3) turned 26.
For Hinz, in addition to the three relay gold medals, the single medal is not only the personal career highlight, but also the confirmation: Look, I can do something. Because she has got used to life in the shadow of others. In the days of Laura Dahlmeier, everyone was talking only about the double Olympic champion who resigned after the previous season – even if she was worse and the others better. The focus is now on the former cross-country skier Denise Herrmann, who took silver in the pursuit in Antholz.
“I have learned over the years and got used to being judged only by medals,” said the Munich-born artist, for whom it is particularly important that “I say: I am satisfied with my performance today and I have got the best out ». But at the end of the day, she does it all for herself: “This is a point that you have to learn, and luckily I also learned at some point.”
Before the World Cup, she had no great expectations based on the results of the season so far, especially when it came to running, she was not at the forefront. It was a direct hit for her that she could be in top form at the season’s climax. Fifth place in the pursuit felt like victory. And now the medal.
Hinz describes himself as perhaps a slightly different athlete because «I am a family man and a live person by the way. I am not an over-trainer or hour-knocker ». Dull training doesn’t work for her. “But I can go up the mountain if I am told I can get a cake upstairs,” she says with a sly laugh. She also has a way of tricking herself with the necessary grind: she rewards herself – either with a short shopping trip or: “I say: Okay, until then you train and then you can go on vacation.”
Hinz also had many moments of doubt in her career and lives out her feelings, after setbacks there are tears. But she also learned “to be able to celebrate the little things”. Her motto now: «It is never a bad thing without something good. So I try to live.”