Dhe ski jumpers and bobsleigh riders are already in Olympic shape: with their victories at the weekend, Karl Geiger and Francesco Friedrich have already shown what German winter sports enthusiasts can do. For the first time, the biathletes are now also on the road in the World Cup. What can the German team do – also with a view to the Winter Games in February next year?
Alpine skiing: The greatest hopes rest on the speed specialists. Romed Baumann, Andreas Sander and Kira Weidle have already shown with their silver medals at the World Cup last winter that they can, at least selectively, come out on top. Thomas Dreßen could miss the Olympics after knee surgery. After two surprising third places in Levi, slalom skier Lena Dürr can be expected.
Biathlon: Women have the best chances of wins and podiums. Especially Denise Herrmann (32) and Franziska Preuß (27) can be trusted a lot, even though the days of Neuer, Dahlmeier & Co. with their successes en masse are over and will not come back anytime soon. After the resignation of Olympic champion Arnd Peiffer, it will be even more difficult for the men’s team. “We have to bake smaller rolls,” said 33-year-old former world champion Erik Lesser.
Ski jumping: After golden years, the triumph at the Four Hills Tournament should finally succeed this winter. The big contenders in the German team are Karl Geiger and Markus Eisenbichler, there are tons of trophies to be handed out at the tour, Olympic and ski flying World Championships. Katharina Althaus is considered a beacon of hope for women who are getting more and more jumping.
Nordic combination: The team of national coach Hermann Weinbuch has changed roles in recent years: from the hunted to the hunter. The ambitious team around the young Vinzenz Geiger and the experienced Eric Frenzel and Johannes Rydzek are definitely good for Olympic medals. It will be difficult with gold, as Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber has outstripped all rivals for three years.
Langlauf: The Oberstdorf plan aimed at the home World Cup did not bring the desired success. Cross-country skiers will only play a minor role at the Beijing Winter Games. There are hopefuls like Katharina Hennig, but the outsider’s chance for medals for the team of head coach Peter Schlickenrieder is actually only in the seasons.
Bob: Double Olympic champion Francesco Friedrich remains the measure of all things with a view to Beijing. “I want to defend both titles,” says the record world champion, who started with two World Cup victories in the two-man and four-man bobsleigh. Johannes Lochner is the second hot potato. When it comes to women, a trio around Olympic champion Mariama Jamanka can be trusted. An additional medal chance is offered to women with the new discipline monobob.